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For those who regularly spend time in the woods and mountains, the compass becomes a vital piece of survival equipment.

Prior to GPS becoming so popular and accessible, a compass was frequently used for geocaching, a form a treasure hunting for people of all ages. Every compass has at least the four main directions or cardinal directions on it.

Types of Compasses

The Button compass is the kind of compass you would find in a car. Button compasses work fine for simply “getting your heading” or figuring out which direction is North if you’ve gotten turned around. They are not very helpful for navigating in the woods if you aren’t sure where you are or which direction you need to go.

Orienteering compass, also known as the mountaineering compass. This is the kind of compass with a magnetic needle that always points to magnetic north. It includes a dial or bezel that you must rotate to find which way to walk. There is a direction of travel arrow and also meridian lines that can be oriented to the longitudinal lines on your map.

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