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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This is known as a back bearing.

Lensatic Compasses

It’s important to hold your compass stable, squarely in front of you, and level. Most people assume that lensatic compass is the “proper” term for all hand-held compasses, but that it not compasx case. Let’s say you see a water tower off in the distance. Just use the tape to mark the angle you need to point the needle in order to be pointing at true north.

The older the map, the more likely the declination shown in the diagram is no longer correct. Some of the components’ terms are used in the explanations below. Whenever the luminous magnetic arrow lines up compass the luminous short line, you’re following your intended azimuth.

Proceed to that target. How to Lenzatic a Map Direction. 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. Declinations to the west are subtracted from the degrees you are reading, and declinations to the east are added. Turn the compass cover more or less perpendicular to the base.


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. You then see where the line you drew intersects with the protractor’s numbers, in this case degrees.

Lensatic Compasses

The location we sighted the bearing to the cabin is where the back bearing intersects ocmpass lake shore. The bezel clicks as it moves–three degrees for every click. An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing. Hold your compass in the two-hand hold, steady and level in front of you.

Then use a straight edge to draw and label the Magnetic North Reference line.

Two-hand Hold of the Lensatic Compass. Refer lenswtic to this “reality check” occasionally during plotting to make sure what you are doing makes sense. To find directions from your map, you’re going to need a protractor, a special instrument used for measuring angles. L ook through the sighting slot and find some target a tree, boulder, whatever that lines up with your sighting wire.

So from now on, when you hear the term lensatic compassthink lens, think accuracy, think ruggedness, and think sighting. As long as you can hold the compass level and steady, the exact grip doesn’t matter. Definition of a Lensatic Compass So let’s get to the point, that being what the “lensatic” term means.


Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

Note that we are using the magnetic dial in the compass. I guess the military needs the extra accuracy now and then say, for example, to precisely place artillery fire. Though such a simple device has been around for about a thousand years, compasses have not lost their utility.

If you don’t, visit the page just hyperlinked. The usual precautions about magnetic objects in the vicinity of the compass should be taken.

My page, fully illustrated book is yours for the asking. Point of Interest An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing.

One advantage is it’s probably more accurate when it comes to “shooting azimuths,” meaning the cmopass of determining the specific compass direction to a spot on the earth.

You now have your target’s bearing. It simply means that there’s a lens on the rear sight used ofr magnifying the card dial and taking a more accurate reading.