Navigation Equiptment

Blake

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What equipment to people employ for navigation in the bush? Aside from basic things like a compass I would like to hear what others use.

One thing I never leave home without is my Ranger beads. They might have another name but that's what I call them. They are small and light and simple to use. Basically you pace out 100 meters and then slide down a bead every count. After 10 you slide the other section to mark 1km and so on. It's a good way to judge distance, I've used mine with great success even over long distances but they require a bit of practice.

 

Templar

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I use the same thing, pace beads, also a mechanical pace counter, good quality 1:25000 topo map, protractor & a Silva 54/6400 compass, in my ditch kit i also ave another Silva Compass a small Ranger 27 mini sighting compass.

If I'm doing long distance treks I will sometimes use a Military Prismatic compass, just for the added accuracy.

I have a GPS also but rarely use it, a garmin e-Trex.

I also like to use a sun compass at times too, but mostly when I'm out west where there are few landmarks to sight in on.

Safe Trails...

Karl
 

Blake

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Nice range of reliable equiptment you have there Karl. Whats themidea beind the Prismatic compass? Ive never used one personaly.
 

Templar

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Cheers mate,

the prismatic compass is just a really accurate brass compass designed for very accurate navigation, they can be quite heavy at times and very expensive to buy, i picked up an Israeli one for about $300 AUD in Melbourne a few years ago, an Army issue one will set you back about $1500-2500 AUD depending on where you go, the only difference between them is, the Israeli one has a 360 deg compass card with a plastic lid and the Army one has Mils and Degrees and all brass, I had my card swaped over by a mate for a six pack as I like Mils rather than degrees.

Here is a good write up on the Prismatic: http://www.britishblades.com/forums/content.php?22-Francis-Barker-M-88-Prismatic-compass-review

or for a much cheaper and just as reliable compass you could go for a US GI Lensatic compass made by Camenga: http://http://www.cammenga.com/category_s/20.htm

I have both, thanks to all too frequent close contact with the Yanks a few years ago...
 
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Wentworth

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I just use a silva baseplate compass with my topo map. But I always carry a garmin etrex gps. Occasionally if I want to double check that I am where I think I am, I'll check the grid reference against the topo. Great feature. The only feature on it I've actually used! Wish there was a model the size of a pager that just had a little grid reference readout.
 

Corin

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I just use a silva baseplate compass with my topo map. But I always carry a garmin etrex gps. Occasionally if I want to double check that I am where I think I am, I'll check the grid reference against the topo. Great feature. The only feature on it I've actually used! Wish there was a model the size of a pager that just had a little grid reference readout.
Same here! A good baseplate compass can be used as a protractor, In the mountains and thick bush where we walk, a prismatic compass only has very limited application. I only know hoe to set datum and look at grid references on the Etrex, and rarely use either.
 

Templar

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I would say the opposite about the prismatic, but only because I have used it a great deal in the jungle environment, it can be used as a protractor also, by opening the lid and laying it flat, thats why it has a rezel and lubbers lines on the glass... but I will admit that my Silva 54/6400 is easier if somewhat less accurate than my Prismatic.
 

kobold

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my mobile phone has a digital compass app installed, but luckily never had to rely on it. my only real compass is a simple one, it can only show magnetic north, but at least it's reliable. it's good when i am lost on some country road, but not in the bush. a week ago i bought this fancy compass: http://www2.knifecenter.com/item/BN15TDCL/brunton-15tdcl-elite-360-mirrored-sighting still waiting for delivery, but looks like a solid piece (fingers crossed)... also, those pacer beads are very interesting!
 

bobmouse

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kobold, having bought a compass last year i found out that u hav to be careful where you purchase a compass because it might not be configured for the Australia zone. from memory there are five compass zones in the world. there are new compasses with a socalled global needle that can be used anywhere in the world. this is why i obtained my compass from a local physical camping shop even though you pay extra.
 

Wentworth

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I use the simplest of Silvas baseplate range. Don't think it's a global one, but I compared it to compasses when in use in Canada and they both pointed the same direction. Thought it wouldn't work for that reason.
 

kobold

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yeah, i chanced it; my other compass is from the northern hemisphere and it works - i think. i'll have to find a zone 5 compass somewhere and compare them all, to be sure.
 
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bobmouse

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i could be wrong but from memory the Australia zone makes the needle push down down into the baseplate thus causing the needle to get stuck or responding slowing when on the move.
other zone compasses thus will probably point north eventually but will not be reliable 'on the move'
 

Dutchy357

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i could be wrong but from memory the Australia zone makes the needle push down down into the baseplate thus causing the needle to get stuck or responding slowing when on the move.
other zone compasses thus will probably point north eventually but will not be reliable 'on the move'
True Bobmouse

But this can be overcome by just tilting the compass slightly to let the needle swing freely.

I must confess like Templar to being a fan of the Prismatic. I have spent lots of time running around in the scrub with one when in my baggy green skin. Great piece of kit.

The Silva's and similar just don't look or feel like a compass after using a prismatic. I'm not knocking them, thats all I use now, used correctly they do a good job.

Map, compass and protractor and you don't have to worry about your batteries going flat.:_lol:

Dutchy
 

Bartnmax

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For route planning I often use a Silva 3/6400 base plate compass as used by the Brittish Military in the past.
I've found these easy to use, extremely reliable, & quite accurate.
When in the field though I often tend to use a lensatic (prismatic) compass as I find them a bit more rugged & able to stand up to accidental abuse a bit better.

Bill A.
 
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