Orienteering by hand?

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rgallant

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@ThundahBeagle this will not make you feel any better but my 40+ year old Silva I found on exercise in Wainwright Alberta 40 odd years a go just developed a bubble, this last year. But it has been bounced around in trucks for most of that 40 years. But the bubble should vanish at warmer temps
 
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old_man

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Why is everybody worried about a bubble. I has no bearing in the operation.
 

DaleRF

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I want to better learn, and teach my kids, orienteering. Like with an actual compass and stuff. Anybody else into it? Should I just start with a YouTube video and go outside? What about the actual compass? Anything to consider there?
Get a good lensatic compass (for example, this one: How to Use a Lensatic Compass). It's what we all use(d) in the military (I'm Retired US Army) and it's now all I use for myself and what I train my wife and family with. It's hard to go wrong with one. Just ensure that you know how to read maps well, learn how to adjust for mag north vs. true north, declination angles, etc., and you'll do fine.
Best of luck!
 
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ThundahBeagle

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@ThundahBeagle this will not make you feel any better but my 40+ year old Silva I found on exercise in Wainwright Alberta 40 odd years a go just developed a bubble, this last year. But it has been bounced around in trucks for most of that 40 years. But the bubble should vanish at warmer temps
Took over 30-odd years before my old Silva Ranger developed a bubble, and that is only in very cold conditions. Still have it today and no bubble20210605_155154.jpg
 
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ThundahBeagle

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Why is everybody worried about a bubble. I has no bearing in the operation.
It most certainly does have a "bearing" (see what I did there?) on operation. Otherwise they would make them with bubbles on purpose. Any bubble can bump the needle away from north, by as much as the size of the bubble. As I mentioned earlier, being 1 to 5 degrees off can put you thousands of feet away from your intended destination.

And it speaks to quality of build, which speaks to longevity of the device. Notice in my picture above, the Brunton still in package has developed a bubble. Its 90 degrees here today! How warm is it supposed to get before the bubble reduces? That's unacceptable. My 6 month old Suunto has been living in my truck much of that time and has no bubbles. And as you can see, at this temperature, my 35 year old Silva also has no bubbles. What kind of quality do you think was built into that Brunton TruArc 5 if it bubbles having done nothing and seen no hard use or low temps?
 

Billiebob

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I want to better learn, and teach my kids, orienteering. Like with an actual compass and stuff. Anybody else into it? Should I just start with a YouTube video and go outside? What about the actual compass? Anything to consider there?
Never used a compass, the sun and watch plus a map did it all.

Until....

Actually this is proof the sun and open yer eyes are best.

We were mountain climbing in Banff National Park along the continental divide and got off course, We were ready to cross a pass and drop into a new valley but stopped for lunch to enjoy the view. Eventually we saw our destination across the valley. Very distinctive, Bow Hut and 2 outhouses on the ridge. Had we dropped into the next valley ?? Well we backtracked and had a great story.

Back then, 1985? GPS was not an option. In our case a compass would not have made a difference, I learned in the 1970s compasses were pretty unreliable. A good paper map, even without elevation contours and an ability to read terrain are all you need. A watch tells you where the sun should be. Without contour lines, valleys are clearly marked by the creeks, mountain peaks are obviously the high points.

Here we are looking across the valley, the hut and 2 outhouses on the ridge.
Incredible I took that picture 35 years ago.

Frank, Terry, Bill.jpeg
 

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ps, if your girls are in school, orienteering and cross country running are often great sports to join.
 

ThundahBeagle

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Never used a compass, the sun and watch plus a map did it all.

Until....

Actually this is proof the sun and open yer eyes are best.

We were mountain climbing in Banff National Park along the continental divide and got off course, We were ready to cross a pass and drop into a new valley but stopped for lunch to enjoy the view. Eventually we saw our destination across the valley. Very distinctive, Bow Hut and 2 outhouses on the ridge. Had we dropped into the next valley ?? Well we backtracked and had a great story.

Back then, 1985? GPS was not an option. In our case a compass would not have made a difference, I learned in the 1970s compasses were pretty unreliable. A good paper map, even without elevation contours and an ability to read terrain are all you need. A watch tells you where the sun should be. Without contour lines, valleys are clearly marked by the creeks, mountain peaks are obviously the high points.

Here we are looking across the valley, the hut and 2 outhouses on the ridge.
Incredible I took that picture 35 years ago.

View attachment 200704
Am I the only one wondering what the heck that yellow thing is flying in the sky, above and ro the right of the peak?
 

Billiebob

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Am I the only one wondering what the heck that yellow thing is flying in the sky, above and ro the right of the peak?
obviously it is a spec of lint on the Kodachrome slide......
how many of you spotted President Ronald Regan

 

old_man

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It most certainly does have a "bearing" (see what I did there?) on operation. Otherwise they would make them with bubbles on purpose. Any bubble can bump the needle away from north, by as much as the size of the bubble. As I mentioned earlier, being 1 to 5 degrees off can put you thousands of feet away from your intended destination.

And it speaks to quality of build, which speaks to longevity of the device. Notice in my picture above, the Brunton still in package has developed a bubble. Its 90 degrees here today! How warm is it supposed to get before the bubble reduces? That's unacceptable. My 6 month old Suunto has been living in my truck much of that time and has no bubbles. And as you can see, at this temperature, my 35 year old Silva also has no bubbles. What kind of quality do you think was built into that Brunton TruArc 5 if it bubbles having done nothing and seen no hard use or low temps?
Spoken by someone who surely has years of experience (sic). I worked as a surveyor and never saw any inaccuracy with a compass that had a bubble. If you have to be within one degree, I want to hear how you compensate for local magnetic fields such as minerals in the rock, or a wrist watch, or the ax in your backpack. The oil in the compass is to dampen movements due to vibrations. It acts like a shock absorber. If the bubble bothers you so much, tilt the compass to one side to move the bubble and look again. Or better yet, use it to make sure the compass is perfectly level.
 
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ThundahBeagle

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Unfortunately it gets a little worse. I unboxed the SECOND Brunton TruArc 5 just a moment ago. I thought, hey, if this one doesnt have a bubble, I can use it. Well, when I unboxed it, there was no lanyard.

I dont know what is going on over at the Brunton factory, but the quality and attention to detail appears to be lacking. At least on the TruArc 5.

As far as the TruArc 15 sighting compass w/ mirror that I mentioned earlier in this thread, that seemed fine. I liked it and it seemed quality. It was a very close 3rd in a very close race against my old Silva and new Suunto. But it was a close 3rd in a very tight race. A photo finish. I would buy another TruArc 15. I even gave it to my nephew.

Just not the TruArc 5
 

ThundahBeagle

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Spoken by someone who surely has years of experience (sic). I worked as a surveyor and never saw any inaccuracy with a compass that had a bubble. If you have to be within one degree, I want to hear how you compensate for local magnetic fields such as minerals in the rock, or a wrist watch, or the ax in your backpack. The oil in the compass is to dampen movements due to vibrations. It acts like a shock absorber. If the bubble bothers you so much, tilt the compass to one side to move the bubble and look again. Or better yet, use it to make sure the compass is perfectly level.
Oh. Ok @old_man.
I highly doubt a surveyor ever relied on this low level of equipment. Meaning this is not professional grade, it's less than $40, and I am not a professional. I'm sure as a surveyor, you relied on professional transits, costing several hundred dollars or more.

You never saw inaccuracies in a compass with a bubble? Take a look at that picture above. Even though a compass close to another compass can cause odd readings, only one of those compasses is pointing to a completely different direction. There. Now you can say you've seen one.


I don't have to be accurate to within 1 degree. Most compass hash marks are 2 degrees, with the space between representing a degree. But, I sure would like to be accurate to within 5 or ten degrees. This one is off when compared to its twin that I bought along with it, and the old Silva and new Suunto, which are all in agreement when laid out with some space between them.

I mean, I'm not a professional butcher, but I want my knives to be sharp, right? I'm not a professional mechanic but I want a decent torque wrench. I guess you dont care if your lug nuts are torqued to 80 or 140 foot-pounds. I do.

A hatchet in my backpack isnt going to affect my compass reading. It's like 3 feet away and on the other side of my body if I keep my pack on when shooting an azimuth. Or my pack is on the ground. And I take some steps away. Minerals in the rock, I can do nothing about. The compass is reading earthly magnetic lines. It happens sometimes that you get a bad reading.

But this is a quality control problem, which becomes a reliability problem, which becomes a consumer trust problem.

We have been in a little heat wave. It was 94 degrees in Boston today.
Of 2 Brunton TruArc 5's that I have. One(still!) has a bubble. The other does not. Which one are you grabbing, given a choice?
 

ThundahBeagle

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Granted I've only been casually hiking the Whites, Adirondacks and Berkshires and camping for the last 35 years. And I dont mean that as a wise guy. You are right. I am not a pro. It's all been very casual. I may not be professional enough for you, @old_man. Maybe this guy is?


There shouldn't be shock or vibration WHILE you are shooting an azimuth. The shocks and vibrations that the fluid is meant to dampen, is while it's in your pack hiking, or gets dropped and rough handling in the field and such. The fluid is primarily meant to dampen the "pendulous", arcing movement of the needle so it isnt swinging back and forth all blasted day while you wait for it to settle down so you can take a heading.

Yes, I agree that it is perfectly normal for up to 1/4 inch bubble to form at high altitudes and low temps. That's not what this is. It's at high temp and low altitude, where it has lived its entire, short life. It's never colder than 62 in the house all winter, and we are at sea level. The thing is busted or not built to spec.

A bubble should disappear at sea level (Boston) and at warm temperatures (94 Fahrenheit)...
What's a quarter inch bubble under those conditions going to look like at 6,000 feet and 25 degrees F? Big enough to bump the direction of the needle a lot, I am betting. But maybe you are right. Maybe I dont need to make as big a deal of it. My 35 year old Silva doesnt do it unless its freezing, and that's a relatively new development. My new Suunto doesnt do ot at all. Heck, my second TruArc 5 hasn't done it yet. So maybe I'm just spoiled by good quality, I dont know.

If anyone else has better experience than me and agrees with @old_man , please let me know. I'd really like to know if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill about this bubble.
 
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I don't know how I missed this thread. This skill should be learned before EVER venturing into the backcountry. You should ALWAYS have a paper map of your area and a compass. Electronic nav is fun and all, but never 100 percent reliable. Batteries and hardware damage is much less likely to happen with a compass and paper map. Nothing expensive is needed, just a good quality silva, brunton or suunto will do the job. Get out and learn it and you will be much safer out there.
 
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Get a good lensatic compass (for example, this one: How to Use a Lensatic Compass). It's what we all use(d) in the military (I'm Retired US Army) and it's now all I use for myself and what I train my wife and family with. It's hard to go wrong with one. Just ensure that you know how to read maps well, learn how to adjust for mag north vs. true north, declination angles, etc., and you'll do fine.
Best of luck!
I would also add the importance of knowing your pace counts for a set distance across varying terrain.
 
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DevilDodge

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Anyone in PA here is a beginner course.


We did this one a few years ago...my son was 6 and he learned alot and has used the knowledge often.
 
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DaleRF

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Anyone in PA here is a beginner course.


We did this one a few years ago...my son was 6 and he learned alot and has used the knowledge often.
Very nice!
 

ChadHahn

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Check around. The local orienteering club has a few permanent courses. I've done the one at Greasewood park.