Forums The Gear Room Compass/Inclinometer
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 24 total)
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  • #575638
    JRoh
    23 Posts

    What are some people’s thoughts on buying a compass that has a built in inclinomter? Both pieces of gear are necessary but should I buy the tools separate? I’m looking at something like this

    http://www.rei.com/product/737543/brunton-15tdcl-compass

    Any input would be appreciated

    #646737
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    ortovox s1 has both and iv never used them, but i always carry a standard compass.

    #646739

    The Brunton compasses are solid. Used one of those for all field work in my undergraduate geology degree. The inclinometer works really well and the compass is tough and is accurate. Would be perfect for use in the backcountry taking slope angles and navigating.

    I use the compass and inclinometer on my Ortovox S1 transceiver. The one benefit of the Ortovox S1 transceiver compass is that when you travel between hemispheres, you can format the compass for that hemisphere, rather than buying a new compass. I still carry a regular compass in my first aid kit just in case though..

    #646740
    chrisNZ
    304 Posts

    @South Island Split wrote:

    The Brunton compasses are solid. Used one of those for all field work in my undergraduate geology degree. The inclinometer works really well and the compass is tough and is accurate. Would be perfect for use in the backcountry taking slope angles and navigating.

    I use the compass and inclinometer on my Ortovox S1 transceiver. The one benefit of the Ortovox S1 transceiver compass is that when you travel between hemispheres, you can format the compass for that hemisphere, rather than buying a new compass. I still carry a regular compass in my first aid kit just in case though..

    how do you format it for northern hemi?

    #646741

    Chris

    Just calibrate it when you get up there. Just follow the instructions in the manual. Pretty easy to follow.

    #646742
    samh
    726 Posts

    Multi-use gear is a great way to save weight. Although I’d guess that the weight of my compass plus my chincy little inclinometer is still less than the weight of the compass you linked too having one less piece of gear to monkey around with is a definite plus.

    --
    samh.net

    #646738
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    I have this one and it’s perfect… http://www.rei.com/product/737542/brunton-26dnl-cl-compass
    The inclinometer & sight mirror are nice to have all-in-one and I can use the mirror in an emergency as a reflecting signal or to check my makeup…lol 😀
    This is also the smallest & lightest compass that I could find that was full-featured enough for backcountry use and still included an inclinometer.

    #646743
    Scooby2
    613 Posts

    iphones have a very sweet inclinometer ap

    #646744
    Powder_Rider
    498 Posts

    I have the compass with Inclinometer and use it. But I just purchased the Pieps 30 Degree Plus from Backcountry see http://www.backcountry.com/pieps-30-degree-plus. As I wanted something already attached to my ski pole that I could instantly use to measure slope angles. Prefect for a “Snow Geek” like me. Accurately measure slope angles is a huge part of “terrain selection”

    Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering By Martin Volken, Scott Schell, Margaret Wheeler:

    There’s an old saying among avalanche professionals: the terrain, terrain, and terrain. With appropriate terrain selection you can ski on just about any day with just about any hazard level. … When considering the incline of a slope you must consider the angle of the start zone.

    .

    Well my point is; having tools readily at hand to evaluate snow pack and terrain selection (without having stop and dig in you pack), allows for quicker and more assessments, with interfering with your tour.

    #646745
    Shift
    95 Posts

    @yoda wrote:

    I have this one and it’s perfect… http://www.rei.com/product/737542/brunton-26dnl-cl-compass
    The inclinometer & sight mirror are nice to have all-in-one and I can use the mirror in an emergency as a reflecting signal or to check my makeup…lol 😀
    This is also the smallest & lightest compass that I could find that was full-featured enough for backcountry use and still included an inclinometer.

    I use a Suunto version like this. Its great to have the mirror for navigating as well as signaling. No matter how much make up I have, the reflection always looks terrible 😉

    While most “all in one” devices have some kind of a compromise, I find with this set up its nice and nothing really suffers. You can keep the compass on the lanyard around your neck or girth hitched to a pack strap/belt and tucked into a pocket and do quick checks on bearings and slope angle in as little time as it takes to unzip your shell. Also, being able to keep it on the lanyard means that you aren’t taking up pocket space with different tools for the job in each pocket with the potential to lose one of them.

    I haven’t tried the Ortovox but am curious to see how they work. Anyone have infield reviews? With anything electronic though, batteries can fail if you’re unprepaird. In an absolute worst case scenerio where you’re forced to bivy in a storm and end up with dead batteries – just trying to get home over newly loaded terrain, I’ll take simplicity over technology most times. Plus it’s much quicker to take out a compass/inclineometer over unbucking the transciever, taking it out of the shoulder strap etc…

    The fact that you are considering your options and looking to make smarter terrain choices by incorporating an inclineometer into your gear list is the best part of this thread. Good advice from the other posters too.

    #646746
    fitit
    343 Posts

    I was checking out the compass today, and noticed that they offer 5 free Topo map downloads through national geographic. I may buy one this weekend. Seems like a good compass/inclinometer.

    #646747
    treetop
    63 Posts

    @yoda wrote:

    I have this one and it’s perfect… http://www.rei.com/product/737542/brunton-26dnl-cl-compass
    The inclinometer & sight mirror are nice to have all-in-one and I can use the mirror in an emergency as a reflecting signal or to check my makeup…lol 😀
    This is also the smallest & lightest compass that I could find that was full-featured enough for backcountry use and still included an inclinometer.

    I have one of those too. I like the light weight and low cost, but it doesn’t have adjustable declination. I put a notch in mine to mark the local declination to grid north (to avoid having to do the math in my head and inevitably making mistakes). But that trick doesn’t work when traveling, and the declination slowly changes over time. I think it’s worth spending a little bit more for one with an inclinometer and adjustable declination. You will probably have it for a long time.

    #646748
    strain
    42 Posts

    Any compass needs a mirror, clinometer, and adjustable declination.

    I used a simple Suunto for basic geology field measurements for years (finally sprung for a Brunton pocket transit this year, $300 :shock:). For getting around in the bush / measuring slope, a basic Brunton / Suunto / Silva is all you need.

    #646749
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    I just ordered this one… http://www.thecompassstore.com/lumotec.html

    Pros: German made and the smallest one with a mirror, clinometer & adj. declination. :thumpsup:

    Cons: Not cheap. 🙁

    #646750
    fitit
    343 Posts

    Yoda that looks nice. Let us know what you think when you get it, I’d like to check it out. Did you also buy the case?

    #646751
    JRoh
    23 Posts

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I ended up going with this one. http://www.rei.com/product/737543/brunton-15tdcl-compass It has been really nice so far, it has a declination adjustment option, although I need to figure out how that works exactly. I believe Utah/Wasatch is around 14 degrees or so? Maybe some advice on that would be super helpful.

    As for the inclinometer, it is pretty damn helpful. It is best with the ski pole readings but is also good to use for measuring alpha angles from the bottom of a face. I am nervous using a beacon or something similar as a compass in case of the freak chance that you get blasted with an avalanche while it’s not strapped to you so I wanted something for old fashioned and reliable.

    #646752
    aliasptr
    282 Posts

    Same compass I own. I picked it for all the reasons stated. Declination adjustment most importantly, sighting mirror (I do use it), and Inclinometer (I don’t often). Very nice compass. Enjoy!

    Also to get declination information I use the following website. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomagmodels/Declination.jsp Our tax dollars at work! (I hope at least.)

    #646753
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    @yoda wrote:

    I just ordered this one… http://www.thecompassstore.com/lumotec.html

    Pros: German made and the smallest one with a mirror, clinometer & adj. declination. :thumpsup:

    Cons: Not cheap. 🙁

    I found one that’s even smaller & lighter with ALL of the key features… http://www.thecompassstore.com/mb6.html

    Pros: Made in Finland. Cheaper price @ $50

    Brunton also makes the 8040G that has ALL of the key features. It’s not much smaller than their 15TDCL, but it’s only 1.6oz @ $44. The only bummer is the clinometer only goes up to 35 degrees.

    Good choice JRoh for getting the Brunton compass. That one works really well and is made by Silva in Sweden. :thumpsup:

    #646754
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    @yoda wrote:

    I found one that’s even smaller & lighter with ALL of the key features… http://www.thecompassstore.com/mb6.html

    I received a cool XMas gift… I got an older swiss-made Recta DP-10 compass that’s the original design of the Suunto MB-6. Note: Suunto owns Recta.

    This is the first time I’ve played with this uniquely designed compass. I have to say it’s quite innovative. The one I got even has a prismatic viewing option for super precise sighting & surveying. This compass design is still currently used by the Swiss military and several others including some US forces.

    The only thing it’s missing are some basic map tools (i.e. magnifier & ruler options), but it’s still a very efficient compass.

    I should receive the K&R german compass this week and will post some reviews. I also have a Suunto MC-2 that I can compare it against.

    I have to admit I’m kind of a compass geek. Check out this online museum if you like compasses… http://www.compassmuseum.com/
    Look out for my very rare Triumph marching compass featured on this site.

    #646755
    HansGLudwig
    601 Posts

    Last month, I bought Brunton’s 26DNL-CL based off this thread and have not been too impressed. Two problems: one small and one huge.
    1) The clinometer needs to be cajoled into vertical (i.e. with more cajoling than what feels accurate). On northerly aspects the compass needle tends to go near vertical (aligning with the magnetosphere) and this gets in the way of the clinometer. I suppose this could be mitigated by moving something metal near the compass when taking a slope reading. It would be nice to have compass needle and clinometer indicator rotate in separate tracks on the pin.
    2) The worst feature of this compass is the hinge design which attaches the sighting mirror to the baseplate. The baseplate and the top are one piece of molded plastic with two folded slivers of plastic functioning as a ‘hinge.’ The problem is a lack of torsional rigidity between the top and the baseplate.
    (*I know this sounds like nit-picky minutiae but hear me out*).
    To take the bearing of a feature (like a distant peak), you adjust the compass-housing & mirror with one hand and while holding the baseplate with the other; keeping the mirror steady with the thumb. Minimal torsional rigidity means the mirror rotates through more than one axis in relation to the baseplate. I.e. The v-sight & centerline of the mirror are not true with the direction of travel arrow on the baseplate & index pointer on the compass housing (because you keep the angle of the mirror steady with slight pressure from your thumb, thereby torquing lid slightly). When you use the mirror to take a bearing (aligning your eye with the index pointer through the centerline of the mirror), you end up rotating the whole compass to compensate so the peak is aligned with how the lines appear in the mirror; yielding a false reading when you use the v-sight, or the mirror as a guide when you rotate the compass housing.

    Bottom line: Brunton’s 26DNL-CL is inaccurate as a sight compass while awkward and lacking in standard features as a baseplate compass.

    FWIW the lack of adjustable declination makes life unnecessarily difficult too.

    If you need a sighting compass, spend the extra $$ & a few ounces more to get a compass with all the features Strain listed and a decent hinge like the Brunton 15TDCL.
    Otherwise save your money and weight and get a nice baseplate compass like Silva’s Explorer pro.

    Be sure to bookmark Splitboard.com's Recent Activity page...
    http://splitboard.com/activity-2/

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