Choosing a compass....

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Jun 14, 2021
United Kingdom
Suunto M-3 G arrived a few days ago and I have played around with it a little. The needle is the of the newer plastic version but it appears to work perfectly without sticking or stuttering. Build quality is excellent the bezel is super smooth to turn.

As per a comment on another thread I did check to make sure that the needle was floating perfectly horizontally and it appears that is the case so all good as far as I can tell!

Pretty happy with it overall.
I parked the truck on the edge of the road. I walked west into the mountain forest, deer hunting. Typical, a sudden and heavy snow storm descended on me.
Visibility 15-20m, no landmarks, even knowing my back-track was useless. The deer would beinvisible. Might as well quit and go home, who knows how long this will last. Which way back to the road?
In that day and time, all I had was my old Recta Prospector compass which showed me that my sense of direction was off by 90 degrees. Curse a little, believe the compass and trudge out of there.
Believe the compass.

Many trails I've hiked I've not had a map for and have been reduced to taking a photo of the trail route from the noticeboard / signage at the trailhead. Did that one winter a few years ago and set off on snowshoes. After a little while the terrain was not agreeing with the map. I checked and double-checked and, having zoomed in a long way on the map photo, discovered that the map I'd photographed wasn't oriented North-up, which I had assumed it was. Sorted! A bit of mental pondering and I was able to return to the trail without issue. Other than embarrassment.

So by constantly checking with the map, the terrain and my compass I eventually realised it was wrongly oriented and was able to recover.
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Recta lives! Apparently, Suunto took over Recta and the Recta compasses are now manufactured in the Finnish factory. The model equivalent of my Prospector model is the Recta DP-6. I might buy a new one just for nostalgia's sake. They invented the global needle (DP-6G). I used mine in Australia, I has to tip the compass down 45 degrees to get the needle to float but the accuracy was still there.

There are no trail head pictures where I go. Sometimes, I get lucky and find an overgrown logging skidder track. Not as tough slogging as solid bush bashing.
Honestly, visibility can be as low as 10-15 feet.

The BC government produced a series of very good regional maps. All printed on the same sized sheets of paper. What they never said was that they changed the scale of every map so that area "filled" the sheet! (Let's not waste any paper, shall we?)

Orienting maps other than North-up is going to kill somebody some day.


Dec 30, 2019
Just have to say, I prefer mirror compasses, not particularly for the sighting function, though that is useful, but for the fact the mirror forms a protective cover for the compass capsule. In addition the mirror has many other uses.

I use a Recta DS-50G of which was an upgrade from an early ( non luminous dial) Suunto MC-2
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