Proper use of a compass is a basic but essential skill in backcountry hiking, which often involves getting off marked trails The lensatic Read more. Learn how to use the lensatic compass used by the US Military. Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass. Sighting the bearing. To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information.

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Place your thumb through the thumb loop, hold your index finger alongside the body of the compass, and support it with the rest of your fingers.

How to Use a Lensatic Military Compass – Navigate Safely in the Wild

The lensatic compass is used by the U. When we plot it on the map, we will start plotting at lenstic known location, and extend the bearing line back towards the unknown location. Let’s say you see a water tower off in the distance. Then turn the azimuth to the other direction 90 degrees left, in this caseand move the exact same distance as when you deviated from your original path.

Put the thumb of your other hand on the compass, between the compass body and the lens. Extend your other index finger alongside the compass body and wrap the fingers of that hand around the fingers of your first hand.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

My page, fully illustrated book is yours for the asking. Usf hiking, use a map to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain. Face the object that you want to measure using the engineer compass. Warning Always double check your compass readings.

The azimuth is the angular measurement of an object’s direction in relation to the viewer. Proceed to that target. Nowusing a straight edge, draw the bearing line and extend it in the desired direction. The older the map, the more likely the declination shown in the diagram is no longer correct.


Hold the compass level by your thumb and index finger. Point of Interest An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing. To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information on our map.

Do not move your head, but raise and lower your eyes when taking ho azimuth using an engineer compass. Hold it square and straight in front of you like you mean business. When you use a compass to figure out the direction to a landmark, people call this shooting an azimuth.

Holding the compass up to your face, angle the rear sight so that you can read the compass dial clearly through the lens while peering through the sighting slot and lining your distant target the water tower, in this case up lenzatic the sighting wire.

For this task, the lensatic compass really shines. Determining a Bearing, or “Shooting an Azimuth”. The need to carefully orient the map, and the precautions about metal in the vicinity of the compass makes this type of plotting more difficult than most other methods.

In our example at the lake, our cabin is NE of our current location. If your compass does not have these notches, you should add them. To use bow lensatic compass to find the direction of your intended azimuth which you probably got from your map, using your protractor:. Mark the position of the notches to be with a pencil. You lennsatic have your target’s bearing. Make a mark with your pencil at the notch on the end furthest from the sighting wire. The cover protects the compass from damage and also contains a wire stretched from top to bottom.


Cojpass addition to degrees to measure directions in a circle, the military also uses 6, mils. Sometimes even a metal belt buckle can interfere with a compass, which can result in an incorrect reading. It has its advantages and disadvantages over the orienteering compass.

This is known as a back bearing.

How to Use the Engineer Compass. We can abbreviate to either mils Mag. Now, read the degree marking under the fixed black index line. Use a straight edge aligned lensatjc the sighting wire and central pivot point.

Using a Lensatic Compass

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 Sighting the bearing To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information on kensatic map. Our bearing was taken from an unknown location, towards a known location. The usual precautions about magnetic objects in the vicinity of the compass should be taken.

The bezel clicks as it moves–three degrees for every click. One disadvantage is, unlike the orienteering compass, it’s not easy to make it double ,ensatic a protractor, meaning you’ll have to carry a protractor with you. You will use these notches to align your compass with a line on the map or to mark the location of a bearing line your are about to draw.