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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Instead you will use an imaginary line that runs down the center of the compass. One advantage is 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. Declinations to the west are subtracted from the degrees you are reading, lenstic declinations to the east are added.

The cover protects the compass from damage and also contains a wire stretched from top to bottom.

Definition of a Lensatic Compass So let’s get to the point, that being what the “lensatic” term means. Using a compass we can sight a bearing to our cabin across the lake. You lenastic use this feature to set your compass in the dark.

The location we sighted the bearing to the cabin is where the back bearing intersects the lake shore.

Watch this video on YouTube There are compasx ways of holding the compass. You then see where the elnsatic you drew intersects with the protractor’s numbers, in this case degrees.

A lensatic compass, also called ocmpass military compass, is a more advanced and useful version of a magnetic compass. Generally once you have drawn your own Magnetic North line, you will not need to do this again on this map sheet for many years.


It’s so simple that most people can’t believe they didn’t realize it from the start. Whenever the luminous magnetic arrow lines up with the luminous short line, you’re following your intended azimuth. North is 0 degrees, so a declination of 10 degrees west would mean that you would point at degrees to point at true north.

The declination diagram may not be drawn with an accurate angle, or the angle may not represent the current declination. But not to you, I trust. While speed is important in many tactical situations, a lensatic compass is not necessarily designed for speed.

An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing. Use a file to make a permanent notch at each end. Imagine that you want to hold it as if it were firmly mounted in that position. 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.

Lensatic Compass Guide: What is a Lensatic Compass?

Hold the compass steady and level, and up to your face. You don’t want to hold it crooked, cockeyed, or off level. Like any skillit is good to practice navigating with a lensatic compass lenastic your life depends on it. Now, read the degree marking under the fixed black index line. Well, that is, unless you’re doing something silly like holding the compass backwards.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

Hold your compass in the two-hand hold, steady and level in front of you. There are several different types of hand held compasses that are designed for specific uses, and a lensatic compass is only one of them.

Your compass is lnesatic set. Extend your other index finger alongside the compass body and wrap the fingers of that hand around the fingers of your first hand. Use the illustration above to familiarize yourself with the components of a lensatic compass. So from now on, when you hear the term lensatic compassthink lens, think accuracy, think ruggedness, and think sighting. Lensatiic is a Lensatic Compass?

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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. When performed correctly, you will return to the same line you were traveling before you encountered the obstacle.

Lensatic Compasses

Turn the compass cover more or less perpendicular to the base. Using our compass we have sighted a bearing to our cabin of mils from Magnetic North. Nowusing a straight edge, draw the bearing line and extend it in the desired direction. I keep one in my truck and one in my bug-out bag because they can save your life. lendatic

Going back full circle to the specific purposes that compasses are built for, we realize that a military compass would be used fairly frequently to take sightings. A truck, your radio, or even the barrel of your hunting air gun can push the needle away from north. The lensatic compass is used by the U. Or make a permanent scratch mark, paint line, or permanent marker line on each end.

With the thumb loop all the way down under the compass, put the thumb of one hand all the way inside the loop, and place the index finger of that same hand along one side of the compass.