PRECISION COMPASS. * LENSATIC *. PROVEN • RUGGED ACCURATE. CAMMENGA. FAX ( ANILINE AVE. HOLLAND, MICHIGAN Learn how to use the lensatic compass used by the US Military. I get lots of questions via email from people wanting to know how to use a lensatic compass, and I think I’ve covered that pretty well in a series of two posts.

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That is, take the azimuth you recorded and subtract degrees from it, or mills if using a military lensatic compass.

If you don’t, visit the page just hyperlinked. Place your thumb in the loop on the side of the compass.

You need to write things down, draw lines, perform math, and make sure you do so with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Imagine that you want to hold it as if it were firmly mounted in that position. You then see where the line you drew intersects with the protractor’s numbers, in this case degrees.

The degrees are in red, and are the ring’s inner measurements. The normal method to transfer angles from your lensatic compass to your map and back is with a protractor and a pencil. Hold the compass with your thumb fully in the thumb ring, and your index finger wrapped around and gripping the circular part of the underneath of the compass’s base.

Now, hold the compass level and squarely in front of you. From your known location on the map, you take your protractor, line it up to true north, find the angle to your next point, adjust for declination, and then shoot that angle with your compass.

Lensatic Compass Guide

Since the ultimate goal is to transfer the angle between the map and compass, why not do it directly? Putting the two in a opaque bag or enclosure is effective as well.

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Proceed to that target. Typically these features are prominent, such as a hilltop, a man-made structure, or an intersection, but they can be more nebulous if you’re in a tight spot. At that point you know what direction cmpass need to head to get to your next stop, and if you pair that with an accurate distance you’ll be on lensatlc way in no time. What I haven’t covered in much detail is some of the nuances of lensatic compasses, such as the tips and tricks to getting the most out of them in the field.

Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. Now, read the degree marking under the fixed black index line. Let’s say you see a water tower off in the distance. But not to you, I trust. Using your protractor or other straight edge, you draw a line from your current position in the direction of where you want to go. The back azimuth is nothing more than the opposite direction of the reading you’re taking. Note the red number on the dial, which is the degrees under the black index line on the compass face.

That way you skip the math, the protractor, the lines, and get lensafic all done quicker. Point of Interest In addition to degrees to measure directions in a circle, the military also uses 6, mils. There’s a lot of room for error and mistakes, and it takes time, which is sometimes a very precious commodity. There’s a better way, I believe, from both a time and an accuracy standpoint.

Turn your entire body as a unit until your predetermined azimuth falls under the fixed black index line. Get your own customized topographical maps, built according to your specifications.

Enroll in my personalized step-by-step video-based online course. Make an “L” shape with the index finger and thumb of your other hand.

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. This, in a nutshell, is how to perform a resection with a lensatic compass. How to Use the Engineer Compass. Then, from where leneatic are, shoot an azimuth to maual feature as accurately as possible, and calculate the back azimuth from that reading.


This one will deal with night and low light navigation, a topic that could span several lengthy articles on its own. Want a free ebook on Land Navigation? Check that the dial is floating freely. Point of Interest An “azimuth” is pretty much the same as a “bearing. Things Needed Engineer lensatic compass.

Well, that is, unless you’re doing something silly like holding the compass backwards. As long as you can hold the compass level and steady, the exact lensatci doesn’t matter. Now, take your map and draw lines at the back azimuth angle you calculated on the map through the features that you’re using as reference points.

You want to go cross country directly to Devil’s Wash Basin, a deep and beautiful lake you’ve heard a lot about. How to Find a Map Direction. Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer.

Lensatic Compass Guide

You want to find your position using the technique of partial resection, so you need to know that tower’s bearing with a high degree of accuracy. Next, do the same for the second point.

In addition to degrees to measure directions in a circle, the military also uses 6, mils. This is a low level radioactive isotope that is used in a multitude of applications where self-powered illumination is necessary.

How to Calculate Height With Sextant. Be sure you understand magnetic declination.