Learn how to use the lensatic compass used by the US Military. Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass. Sighting the bearing. To determine our location we are going to combine two pieces of information. Use a compass to explore, navigate, map terrain and travel around the Engineers, the engineer compass is also called a lensatic compass.

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A truck, your radio, or even the barrel of your hunting air gun can push the needle away from north. Though such a simple device has been around for about a thousand years, compasses have not lost their utility.

Lensatic Compass Guide

The usual precautions about magnetic objects in the comppass of the compass should be taken. This, in a nutshell, is how to perform a resection with a lensatic compass. The cover protects the compass from damage and also contains a wire stretched from top to bottom.

According to United States Army Corps of Engineers, the engineer compass is also called a lensatic compass.

How to Use a Lensatic Military Compass – Navigate Safely in the Wild

Andrew SkillsSurvival. At night, however, or in other periods of limited visibility fog, blizzard, etc keeping these two luminous bits lined up will be your only remedy. Watch this video on YouTube Another useful method is yow orient your map to north by using your compass. They give the basics of how they work, how to shoot an azimuth, how to get a bearing, and so on.

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We will be plotting our bearing relative to Magnetic North, so there is no need to adjust for a different north reference.

How to Use a Bushnell Voyager Telescope. With solid land-navigation skills, you’ll be more confident and “at home” in the wilderness.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

We’ll start from the beginning, and go through everything you need to know to find your way over the terrain. When hiking, use a map to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain. How to Hold a Lensatic Compass. It has its advantages and disadvantages over the orienteering compass. In order to detect any errors we may have made, it is recommended that you plot at least one additional bearing to a different known location.

Put the thumb of your other hand on the compass, between the compass body and the lens. Keep doing this until you get to where you want to go. But a compass can never lose connection to the GPS satellites and will never run out of batteries.

Use the engineer compass to find the direction by lining up the compass with an object. The need to carefully orient the map, and the precautions about metal in the vicinity of the compass makes this ocmpass of plotting more difficult than most other methods. Using a protractor aligned with either True or Grid North depending on what the magnetic declination you are given is referenced tomake a mark on the map at the desired value.


Using a compass we can sight a bearing to our cabin across the lake. Some of the components’ terms are used in the explanations below. At the 24 year mark it will be another half of that, and so on. Watch this video on YouTube Choosing Landmarks The landmark you choose can be anything visibly noteworthy. For this task, the lensatic compass really shines.

Whenever the luminous magnetic arrow lines up with the luminous short line, you’re following your intended azimuth. How to Calculate Azimuth. In our example will will extend the line as a back bearing.

Plotting a bearing on a map using a round lensatic compass

The back azimuth is nothing more than the opposite direction of the reading you’re taking. Looking at the photo below, let’s say you’re at the north end of Sheeler Lake, where the penciled X is.

It may take a while to get it, and you should practice in a safe location before relying on one, but few devices are more able to help you navigate your way to safety.

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. Now, read ude degree marking under the fixed black index line.