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Dependable, light base-plate compass
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Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Dependable, light base-plate compass on 12/24/2012 07:54:04 MST Print View

Hi,

I'm searching for some good baseplate (with transparent plastic) compass. Should be dependable, mirror is not needed, Weight is important. For now found this one:

Brunton Micro Mini Base Plate Compass F-28NL

0.4 oz

Suunto Arrow-6

0.9 oz

What do you think? Are there any other options? Thank you!

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Compass on 12/24/2012 09:13:41 MST Print View

There are smaller ones without the base plate and modestly heavier ones with a base plate plus scale and other stuff. My basic base plate compass is a Suunto A-10. It weighs almost an ounce and has a scale. That said, for basic navigation in familiar terrain, the ones you've pointed to will work just fine. It might be anathema around here, but I usually just swallow the extra ounces and take my Ranger. It's just a great compass, especially for cross country stuff, and doubles as a mirror.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
compass on 12/24/2012 09:18:11 MST Print View

sun micro II
has rotating bezel

0.4 ozsun micro

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Dependable, light base-plate compass on 12/25/2012 21:40:40 MST Print View

In my experience ...
Those miniature compasses look right but the needles are too short so they don't always spin freely. Which is a right pain.

Cheers

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Dependable, light base-plate compass on 12/25/2012 22:24:42 MST Print View

Re: Roger Caffin, I agree with what you are saying about short needles. Sometimes they are just not as smooth and end up not being as accurate.

Personally I use this .9oz Silva starter 123 as sometimes carry it in my shoulder strap pocket.silva starter

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
I'm interested in this too on 12/25/2012 23:39:14 MST Print View

I too am looking for the right compass. Something to get me through the CDT safely and lightly.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Bought the brunton on 12/26/2012 01:11:42 MST Print View

Greetings!

I've bought the brunton (first pic). $12. If it will not be sufficient, will try that Silva which is still light enough but far more readable. It's same price (would buy it, but ordered the brunton before seeing this reply...)

After test in the field I will review it here.

My usage of compass is mostly for:
0) triangulation
1) measure angle between north and that mountain peak, and finding myself on the trail
2) if I need to move 2 miles to NE, just keep that direction.

Thank you for helping!

Edited by tauneutrino on 12/26/2012 01:13:21 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Michael's Silva compass on 12/26/2012 03:11:50 MST Print View

Sue and I both carry compasses very similar to that one. Nothing bigger ever needed.

Cheers

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Silva Ranger on 12/26/2012 09:16:05 MST Print View

they used to make a 0.8 oz Silva Ranger- looks just like the bigger one they currently make- only smaller :)

the sighting mirror was needed for me as I had to map out camp sights when I was working as a backcountry ranger, made triangulation easier and more accurate

as mentioned above the mirror comes in handy for other things

someone said that the "Guide" is what replaced it, but the quality isn't near as good as it was 25 years ago :(

luckily I've held onto mine :)

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Compass on 12/26/2012 09:45:37 MST Print View

Commented above already, but for what it's worth, Silva has a new base plate compass with adjustable declination for $30:

http://store.silvacompass.com/products/623010/Explorer_Pro_%28Hi-Vis%29

It's 1 oz. If you're looking for reasonable easy accuracy, the adjustable declination is a nice selling point. Better than using tape, that's for sure.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Compass on 12/26/2012 10:29:03 MST Print View

^ nice that's the lightest adj declination compass I've seen on the market :)

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 12/26/2012 20:34:11 MST Print View

That Silva is a good improvement on their basic baseplate design. However, seeing as that it is the Johnson Outdoors 'Silva' and not the Silva from Sweden, it is probably made for cheap in China or some such place. Those things booger up all the time. Well, not ALL the time but the quality has definitely dropped over the last few years.

For the same money and just 0.55oz more, you can get a Suunto made in Finland that has similar features but better workmanship:

standard needle
http://www.thecompassstore.com/51m3dl.html

global needle
http://www.thecompassstore.com/51m3gl.html

For a real Silva non-mirrored unit with declination adjustment, check this one:
http://silva.se/node/38

Michael Cockrell
(CAL-EE-FOR-NIA) - F

Locale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
Re: Silva Ranger on 12/27/2012 09:07:36 MST Print View

I own both the full-size and mini Ranger. Sweeden version.

Taken every trip.

The mini is in my emgergency kit in my pants cargo pocket, along with the other 10-essentials

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Re: Mini Ranger on 12/27/2012 18:43:11 MST Print View

What's a Mini Ranger? It sounds great. Did a quick internet search and the most analogous thing I could find is the Suunto MCB/Silva Huntsman type compass. Had the Huntsman and did not like it at all. Could not get a decent reading for the life of me, though maybe it was something I was doing.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
suunto arrow on 12/28/2012 17:34:28 MST Print View

The suunto arrow thumb compass in the 1st post has a full sized capsule / needle.

It also has an extra fast settling needle. Its popular at orienteering races.

The thumb compass downside is that there is no rotating bezel with numbers, so setting a numeric heading requires a map and protractor. For navigating with a map, it works great.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Compass on 12/28/2012 18:35:51 MST Print View

Brunton compasses are now made in the USA. Brunton distributed Silva in the USA. Those sold up until last year or so were made in China. I wonder if they switched Silva production stateside also?

Edited by kthompson on 12/28/2012 18:38:07 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
mini ranger on 12/28/2012 19:19:32 MST Print View

that's what I was describing above, long since discontinued I've been told :(

Christopher Kuzak
(KC)
Mini Ranger on 12/29/2012 12:50:40 MST Print View

Mike M.,

Any reason why they discontinued it? I really like my Ranger. It's easy to use and accurate. Best compass I've owned, hands down. A lighter and smaller one would be perfect, especially for familiar terrain situations and light cross country.

Edited by KC on 12/29/2012 12:51:16 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Mini Ranger on 12/29/2012 15:52:38 MST Print View

no idea at all, it's great little compass- the only thing it's (was) missing is declination adjustment

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 12/29/2012 17:41:17 MST Print View

I have had good luck getting genuine Silva compasses on Ebay from some British vendors. The shipping was a little extra but not that bad considering the long trip.