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Compass recommendation?
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Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Which model Brunton? on 09/16/2007 14:56:15 MDT Print View

Brunton 26DNL-CL

Brunton 26DNL-CL

Edited by mad777 on 09/16/2007 14:57:32 MDT.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
can anyone recommend a small lightweight but dependable backup compass? on 09/17/2007 17:04:45 MDT Print View

I haven't yet read the whole post yet, but it is something I was just starting to research for small lightweight backup compasses. I used the Suunto MC-2G as my main compass, it's excellent.

Can anyone recommend a small lightweight compass that I can keep in a med/survival kit that is still accurate and dependable?

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "Compass recommendation?" on 09/17/2007 17:57:04 MDT Print View

I just looked back at my records. That Brunton 26DNL-CL cost me only $15 at REI.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
light Brunton model; lighter models? on 09/17/2007 18:20:59 MDT Print View

Thanks - wow 1.2 oz with all those features? Very impressive. REI raised price to $24.95, but I'll look around.

Are there lighter choices that have almost as many features (to go lighter and cheaper I'm sure you have to give up the mirror, which means giving up accuracy).

tkkn c
(tkknc) - MLife

Locale: Desert Rat in the Southwest
Compass on 09/17/2007 19:01:40 MDT Print View

The Brunton Model 54LU Combi might be worth looking at. I have used it at night.
instructions at

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: light Brunton model; lighter models? on 09/17/2007 21:59:17 MDT Print View

> to go lighter and cheaper I'm sure you have to give up the mirror, which means giving up accuracy
What accuracy?
If you are in limited visibility scrub, compass 'accuracy' is a joke.
If you are above the tree line, try looking for the peak/col whatever.
If you are in thick fog ... accuracy is still a joke - in practice. Yeah, been there ...

My reserve compass is one of those very small oil-filled units without a base plate, about 5/8" diameter. I can navigate quite happily with it.

Sounds like super-sizing to me all over again. But it's your wallet.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
More on sighting compasses on 09/18/2007 06:26:17 MDT Print View

Navigation as practiced by most wilderness travelers is fairly crude and based on a combination of simple compass work, and reading maps and topography well. Before you get your knickers in a twist, consider that engineers, foresters and geologists for whom sighting compasses were designed are using the numbers generated for data - not for getting from point A to B. For that, they often lay the mirror out flat and use them (hang on to your hat) like regular ol' base plates. I still think that for the rest of us they're overkill - but what the heck.

Just out of curiosity, can anyone supply a story about actually needing the sighting feature for navigation? For that matter, can anyone pose a scenario for which they are even hypothetically necessary?

As for accuracy, each style has its pitfalls. Standard base-plate compasses are best used at belly-button level and are mostly prone (in my opinion) to errors of carelessness - especially if you're taking bearing after bearing in low visability / heavy brush. To use a sighting compass accurately requires practice and care to avoid parallax errors, which can be significant. Pick your poison.

Edited by jackfl on 09/18/2007 07:25:50 MDT.

Phil Stetz
(pstetz) - F
Re: light Brunton model; lighter models? on 09/18/2007 09:51:23 MDT Print View

Michael - I have the same version of the Brunton 26DNL-CL in your picture. I was not happy with it. It just felt cheap to me - the dial would move way to easily and I noticed it was hard to get the needle to reliably settle. As a side note, REI no longer sells that version of the Brunton 26DNL-CL. The newer version is about $10 more (as already pointed out). I have not used it so I'm not sure if it really is better quality.

I switched over to the Suunto M-2D Locator and am much happier. The bezel is larger, easier to read and I feel the needle points and settles better. I also like the adjustable declination correction.

I have not missed the sighting mirror at all. The only caveat is I do feel guilty for not having a signaling device in my 10 essentials. So I agree that it may be overkill for my navigation needs, it is definitely useful for an emergency item.

Edited by pstetz on 09/18/2007 10:14:37 MDT.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Re: light Brunton model; lighter models? on 09/18/2007 10:23:41 MDT Print View

I also have the Suunto M-2D. I think it is a good compass. As Phil noted the adjustable declination is nice.

For a very minimal compass to get you pointed in the right direction the Suunto Clip-On Compass comes in at .2 ounces once you ditch the strap.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Compass recommendation on 09/18/2007 11:05:07 MDT Print View

I use the Suunto MC-2G the mirrored version of the link that Steve mentions and shown in Brett's response.

I also use for quick measuring my Sun Micro compass Mini Comp II which weighs 9g (mine weighs about .2-.3oz):


Edited by naturephoto1 on 09/18/2007 11:08:11 MDT.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
wrist compasses on 09/19/2007 21:53:53 MDT Print View

Anyone ever use any wrist style compasses, at least for quick course check?
Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass 1.2 oz

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Compass recommendation on 09/20/2007 02:07:53 MDT Print View

EJ, sure, I used a wrist compass for years before I could afford a multi-sensor watch. They are great for a sanity check on your direction; especially when tired and its dark. My favorite is the Cammenga tritium wrist compass.