A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Paul Dolkas
Date: 2012 Nov 5, 20:26 -0800
One more opinion-
My favorite compass is a Suunto with a mirror – probably the same one you have. You can vastly improve the accuracy by painting a small black dot on the center of the pivot (see the attached photo). You line up the image of the dot in the mirror with the line on the mirror as shown, and you eliminate almost all the pointing error since the mirror is now perpendicular to your line of sight. Try it – you will be amazed. Much better than 5 degree accuracy, and super simple to use. Only thing missing from this model is a magnifying glass lens so you can read the fine print on a map.
Almost forgot – the mirror should be considered a nessesity for backpacking, since it doubles as an emergency signalling mirror. Don’t leave home without it.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. Now I know what I want for Xmas! My current hand-held is a Silva with a mirror and line on it. I think I can do about 5 degrees with it, but I could surely use one that gets down to 2 degrees. The students have an even rattier hand-held - amazing we can do anything with it!
I do have a military quality marine binoculars and spend a fair amount of time with them, but in backpacking situations it's too heavy for use. The curious, and not surprising issue is that I get knocked off a few degrees when I use them with my glasses. These binoculars do have the nice feature of a reticle in mils, which is helpful for determining ranges a bit more precisely than using finger widths.