At first glance, the lensatic compass can seem a bit daunting. Covered in various markings and with multiple moving parts, it looks as though it. Learn how to use the lensatic compass used by the US Military. I have half a dozen navigation apps on my phone, so I rarely get lost! But phones have several major weaknesses: battery life and signal reception. Both of those.

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Now, hold the compass level and squarely in front of you. Return from Lensatic Compass to Home. Watch this video on YouTube Another useful method is to orient your map to north by using your compass.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

You will use these notches to align your compass with a line on the map or to mark the location of a bearing line your are about to draw. You don’t want to hold it crooked, cockeyed, or off level.

I get this question lensstic often than you would think. To use your lensatic compass to find the direction of your intended azimuth which you probably got from your map, using ckmpass protractor:. Most people assume that lensatic compass is the “proper” term for all hand-held compasses, but that it not the case.

Let’s say you see a water tower off in the distance. The location we sighted the bearing to the cabin is where the back bearing intersects the lake shore.

An orienteering compass, for example, is designed for ease of use when taking a bearing from a map and heading off at full speed to the next point on a course. How to Find a Map Direction. Or make a permanent scratch mark, paint line, or permanent marker line on each end. Point of Interest In addition to degrees to measure directions in a circle, the military also uses 6, mils.


The smaller the angle to Magnetic North, the more likely the diagram will show a larger angle. Point of Interest An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing. You then see where the line you drew intersects with the protractor’s numbers, in this case degrees. Some of the components’ terms are used in the explanations below. I guess the military needs the extra accuracy now and then say, for example, to precisely place artillery fire.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

Two-hand Hold of the Lensatic Compass. Though such a simple device has been around for about a thousand years, compasses have lsnsatic lost their utility. Start by lensztic your thumb through the thumb loop and putting your index finger alongside the compass, similar to the cheek method.

We’ll start from the beginning, and go through everything you need to know to find your way over the terrain. Turn the compass cover more or less perpendicular to the base. Two parts of this line include the sighting wire, which you can align with things that are visible on the map, and the center of the rotating compxss card. But a compass can never lose connection to the GPS satellites and will never run out of batteries.

Lensatic Compasses

Use a file to make a permanent notch at each end. Want a free ebook on Land Navigation? Rough direction to the cabin.

You want to go cross country directly to Devil’s Wash Basin, a deep and beautiful lake you’ve heard a lot about. Steady the compass by allowing the hand holding the compass to rest in the cupped palm of your other hand.


It simply means that there’s a lens on cokpass rear sight used ofr magnifying the card dial and taking a more accurate reading. In the daytime, you’ll normally find something in the distance on your azimuth and walk to it, so you don’t have to keep staring at the compass. For more information on forward and back bearings, see our tutorial on forward and back bearings.

Don’t even consider using the hood or tailgate of a vehicle. Looking at the photo below, let’s say you’re at the north end of Sheeler Lake, where the penciled X is. The lensatic compass is used by the U. So from now on, when you hear the term lensatic compassthink lens, think accuracy, think ruggedness, and think sighting.

This is known as a back bearing. Hold it square and straight in front of you like you mean business. If you don’t, visit the page just hyperlinked. At night, however, or in other periods of limited visibility fog, blizzard, etc keeping these two luminous bits lined up will be your only remedy. The fact that they glow in the dark especially, if they’re the tritium kind which dompass glow for years without having to be exposed to light means you can use your compass without a light for night navigation.

The bezel clicks as it moves–three degrees for every click. It’s so simple that most people can’t believe they didn’t realize it from the start.