The orienteering compass is a critical piece of equipment for outdoor travel.
A good orienteering compass has these features:
- Clear base plate that allows you to see the map underneath
- Straight sides for aligning two points or for drawing lines
- Liquid-filled needle housing that keeps the magnetic needle relatively steady when taking readings
- Two arrows: a direction arrow painted on the base plate (or you may use the edge of the compass) is used to point the compass from your starting point to your destination; an orienting arrow, located in the needle housing, is used to orient your compass to your map
Metal objects, such as knives, gun barrels, belt buckles, etc., will affect a magnetic needle. Keep such items clear of the compass when orienteering.