Fundamentals of Orienteering – Parts of the Lensatic Compass

  Today’s post is about the Lensatic compass.  This is a military style Cammenga compass and I lay out some of the parts below.  If you click on the image you should get a larger picture to look at. compass parts There’s also a short video below that points out the various parts just to make sure you can see everything.  
Link to video
I’m taking this course in little bites for two reasons.  First, it gives me time to prepare the next section and second, it gives you time to assimilate the information before moving on to the next segment.  Don’t worry, it’ll get more interesting soon.  For now we need to learn the tools of the trade before we get to the good stuff.
Questions?  Comments?
Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

19 comments… add one
  • Jason March 6, 2013, 8:32 am

    I love simplicity & am glad you are breaking it down into bite size pieces like this video.

    When I watched Saving Private Ryan, I remembered the part where Tom Hanks’s character was reading the map & he was using one of those compasses & it really intrigued me how it worked.

    Thanks for taking the time to show me/us this process.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:59 am

      Glad to help out. I remember the scene in the movie you’re talking about too, I think. Doesn’t his hand shake while he’s holding it?

      • Jason March 9, 2013, 2:49 pm

        Yes, his hand was shaking & it was the first time his troops saw his imperfection. A pivotal point in that relationship because it brought them all closer together.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. March 6, 2013, 8:58 am

    I’m also looking forward to learning more about them. I’m pretty limited to where I get to roam and know the place like the back of my hand. There have been a few occasions where I end up in a place I wasn’t planning to be lol, so learning about this would be wise.

    Thanks Jarhead.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:54 am

      Glad to do it! I hope you guys are getting something out of this series.

  • smokechecktim March 6, 2013, 1:55 pm

    I use the suunto mc-2. I still believe the most danerous man in the world is a second LT with a map and compass!

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:55 am

      Agreed! I’ve got several stories about boot looies with a compass.

  • Evil von Scarry March 6, 2013, 2:33 pm

    as an ex-Infantryman I feel one can never get enough practice of “map and compass” or orienteering. I also taught this for quite a few years and still keep boneing up on it to stay in practice. Great work! -EvS

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:56 am

      I’ve got to admit that I’m getting a lot of presenting this series. I used to very good with a compass, but haven’t really done any hard compass work lately. This is a great refresher for me too.

  • des March 7, 2013, 11:03 am

    Hi guys
    i havent used a prismatic compass since my army days.
    Here in uk the popular compass is the type 4 expedition made by silva.
    I have just come back from wales practicing micro navigation and night nav with a group of young adults.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:56 am

      Prismatic compass. Man, I haven’t it called that in a long time!

    • Evil von Scarry March 9, 2013, 6:08 pm

      i remember the silva ranger being a real popular model in the forces

  • Rational Justin March 7, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I actually have a compass like this sitting on a shelf next to me. Unfortunately, I have never taken the time to learn anything about it. Thanks for making some tutorials.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:57 am

      You should take it down and take it out for a spin! Hopefully this will help you learn how to use it. They’re an excellent resource.

  • steve suffering in nj March 8, 2013, 12:49 am

    Good stuff.Got one of these, taught my self to use it. Think ive got it down pat but very interested in what you have to say. Keep it coming, thanks.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 8, 2013, 7:58 am

      Keep me straight, Steve. If you see me say something wrong let me know.

  • Jason March 9, 2013, 4:50 pm

    Quick question Jarhead – I went onto Amazon & saw this compass & was wondering if it is relatively the same as yours.

    I noticed in my looking that some come

    • Jason March 10, 2013, 11:45 am

      Sorry for the incomplete sentence …. I started to say, I noticed that some come with tritium & was going to ask what that was but figured out.

  • Riggswest March 20, 2018, 3:03 am

    Thank you for doing the teaching
    In bitesize easier digest
    Need to learn full use of my lensatic
    Thanks again


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