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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Using a compass we can sight a bearing to our cabin across the lake. If you don’t, visit the page just hyperlinked. Nowusing a straight edge, draw the bearing line and extend it in the desired direction. Hold it square lensatlc straight in front of you like you mean business. A round lensatic compass has no straight edge to align. Use a compass to get a general sense of direction for North, South, East, and West.

Refer back to this “reality comlass occasionally during plotting to make sure what you are doing makes sense.

One of the difficulties inherent to using a compass is that magnetic north is not the same as true north. You then see where the line you drew intersects with the protractor’s numbers, in this case degrees.

Using a protractor aligned with either True or Grid North depending on what the magnetic declination you are given is referenced tomake a mark on the map at the desired value. When we plot it on the map, we will start plotting at the known location, and extend the bearing line back towards the unknown location. Some compasses can be adjusted to include declination, so after adjustment, a reading of 0 degrees would point at true north.


Put the thumb of your other hand on the compass, between the compass body and the lens. As long as you can hold the compass level and steady, the exact grip doesn’t matter. Hold the compass with your thumb fully in the thumb ring, and your index finger wrapped around and gripping the circular part of the underneath of the compass’s base.

A lensatic compass is one with a magnifying lens on the sight.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

Hold the compass steady and level, and up to your face. The mils are in black, and are the outer measurements on the ring.

Andrew SkillsSurvival. Make an “L” shape with the index finger and thumb of your other hand. Then use a straight edge to draw and label the Magnetic North Reference line. One advantage compasd it’s probably more accurate when it comes to “shooting azimuths,” meaning the act of determining the specific compass direction to a spot on the earth.

Return from Lensatic Compass to Home. Make a mark with your pencil at the notch on the end furthest from the sighting wire.


Instead you will use an imaginary line that runs down the center of the compass. Point of Interest An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing. One disadvantage is, unlike the orienteering compass, it’s not easy to make it double as a protractor, meaning you’ll have to carry a protractor with you.

Your compass is now set. Extend your other index finger alongside the compass body and wrap the fingers of that hand around the fingers of your first hand.

We’ll start from the beginning, and go through everything you need to know to find your way over the terrain.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

To do this we need to establish an accurate Magnetic North reference line on the map. But not to you, Lsnsatic trust.

You may be tempted to use the MN line on the declination diagram, but be careful. Don’t even consider using the hood or tailgate of a vehicle. The smaller the angle to Magnetic North, the more likely the diagram will show a larger angle.