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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Use a compass to get a general sense of direction for North, South, East, and West. You want to find your position using the technique of partial resection, so you need to know vompass tower’s bearing with a high degree of accuracy. 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.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

An orienteer a good one, anyway doens’t need to do this very often. Next Best Ways to Build a Campfire: Using a protractor aligned with either True or Grid North depending on what the magnetic declination you are given is referenced tomake a mark on the map at the desired value.

But not to you, I trust. For this task, the lensatic compass really shines. 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 com;ass side of the compass. Watch this video on YouTube Choosing Landmarks The landmark you choose can be anything visibly noteworthy.

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

Many wooden tables also have bolts, nails, screws, and other metal components. Two parts of this line include the sighting wire, which you can align with things that are visible on the map, and the center of the rotating compass card. Just use the tape to mark the angle you need to point the needle in order to be pointing at true north. Watch this video on YouTube Another useful method is to orient your map to north by using your compass. Then look at their map, slap the compass down, twist the house to find the bearing to their next point, and take off running.


You now have your target’s bearing. In your case, however, your declination is degrees West, meaning you’ll have to add degrees before you set your compass. Use the illustration above to familiarize yourself with the components of a lensatic compass. Rather, it is designed for accuracy and ruggedness.

With solid land-navigation skills, you’ll be more confident and “at home” in the wilderness. Perhaps this is why most military personnel are trained to plot bearings using a protractor on a Coordinate Scale and Protractor tool.

A lensatic compass, also called a military compass, is a more advanced and useful version of a magnetic compass. Keep doing this until you get to where you want to go.

At night, however, or in other periods of limited visibility fog, blizzard, etc keeping these two luminous bits lined up will be your only remedy. The fact that they glow in the dark especially, if they’re the tritium kind which will glow for years without having to be exposed to light means you can use your compass without a light ckmpass night navigation.

Andrew SkillsSurvival. 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.

Enroll in my personalized step-by-step video-based online course. The location we sighted the bearing to the cabin is where the back bearing intersects the lake shore. If you don’t, visit the page just hyperlinked.

As long as you can hold the compass level and steady, the exact grip doesn’t matter. Whether laying in artillery, taking a sighting to a target, or performing a resection to figure out how far you’re off course, the lensatic compass excels lensaric sightings and accuracy.

Start by putting your thumb through the thumb loop and putting your index finger alongside the compass, similar to the cheek method. How to Find a Map Direction. Use a file to make a permanent notch at each end. Our bearing was taken from an unknown location, towards a known location. Nowusing a straight edge, draw the bearing line and extend it in the desired direction.


In our example at the lake, our cabin is NE of our current location. Rough direction to the cabin. If your compass does not have these notches, you should add them. Hold it square and straight in front of you like you mean business. 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 our map.

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

The north reference is an integral part of any bearing. To find directions from your map, you’re going to need a protractor, a special instrument used for measuring angles. Some of the components’ terms are used in the explanations below.

We can abbreviate to either mils Mag. Instead you will use an imaginary line that runs down the center of the compass. The term ” lensatic compass ” is is used most frequently in the military, and only in reference to one specific model of compass. The degrees are in red, and are compazs ring’s inner measurements. One disadvantage is, unlike the orienteering compass, it’s not easy to make it double as a protractor, meaning you’ll have to carry a protractor with you.

To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information on our map. Holding the compass elnsatic 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 with the sighting wire.

Welcome To the Lensatic Compass Guide.