A compass is a device for finding direction. There is a great variety of types which are related to use such as in large ships, aircraft, and sometimes to determine true north as opposed to magnetic north. (Magnetic North is the north pole of earth’s magnetic field, while True North is the geographic north pole.) All our compasses are calibrated for use in the Southern Hemisphere and carry the prefix MS for Magnetic South. The most popular type of compasses, all of which are featured below, is the magnetic compass. It shows magnetic north by using a magnetised pointer set in a fluid which dampens its movement so that it can be read easily. Before you buy a compass, you need to be clear about what you want to use it for, and therefore what the features are that it should have.
• We reccomend the following compasses for the following purposes.
•Occasional, to check where north is, for example, to position something such as a tent. In other words, pinpoint accuracy is not essential and safety is not critical we reccomend the following. Atka AC80 Atka AC70 Atka AC50
•Orienteering, where accuracy is critical, and ease of reading in conjunction with a map is vital to save time. Orienteering compasses commonly incorporate a prismatic function – see below. Silva Ranger S Silva Professional Expedition Silva Expedition 54
Some common types:
•Baseplate compasses – set on a transparent rectangle of plastic which magnifies for reading a map.
•Prismatic compasses – used for establishing way-points. The prism lets the user read the compass bearings while maintaining their view of a distant object. The prism is commonly replaced now with a combination sight and mirror, as in orienteering compasses.
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