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Posted: 2/11/2013 3:36:56 PM EDT
In my collection of camping gear, I have several basic, mid-range compasses (like a $30 Silva or Brunton). They are stored together for convenience in a zipped pouch.

Does storing them together damage their magnetic properties? Should I separate them from each other and/or other metal objects?
Link Posted: 2/11/2013 3:38:08 PM EDT
should be fine, unless they are scratching each other.
Link Posted: 2/11/2013 3:40:03 PM EDT
I keep 2 USGI compasses together with no issues.
Link Posted: 2/11/2013 3:54:26 PM EDT
I would not think so.
Link Posted: 2/12/2013 12:41:36 PM EDT

My compass no longer points North. Is this normal?

Please be aware that a reverse polarity is caused by exposing your compass to articles with iron content (something as simple as being placed next to a pair of scissors or a knife for a length of time, microwaves, high tension wires, etc.).

Compasses stored near one another have been known to reverse polarity. Electrical devices near them will do it too.


Link Posted: 2/14/2013 8:58:10 AM EDT
So what does the military order 1 compass at a time Id think they order them in crates of thousands and store them like that too.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 10:33:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 10:36:46 AM EDT by MPi-KMS-72]
I'm sure the Army spent the $ to study exactly how far apart they needed to be stored to be safe. Plus they are induction dampened perhaps that offers some protection. In any event it is a very real problem that can impact the accuracy of a compass over time if not completely reverse the polarity 180 degrees. Compasses are weak magnets so they should not have to be stored very far apart to be safe. It is a real issue though and one people need to be aware of. It is why compasses need to be checked for accuracy regularly too.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:35:38 AM EDT
Ive worried about this in the past without getting a good answer, so ya I try to keep them separated. that's another nice thing about the mil cammenga, it locks the bezel down regardless.

fwiw, besides for a pair of GPS, I prefer to do my hiking old school as I enjoy orienteering quite a bit after I learned land nav, even though I am weight conscious, I still carry three compasses when on the trail, a cammenga 3h trit, my suunto m-3 global, and then a tiny suunto clipper that I keep either attached to my watch or on my penzl as a backup.

In order to shoot a really really good bearing, I need to keep the suunto tucked away back in my pack, I also noticed that my TSAR has enough mass to pull the reading a degree or more if I don't take it off my wrist as well. a good non regional compass is more sensitive that most people realize... being in the vicinity of a vehicle, or standing near power lines, even if you take a bearing usuing the chest hold instead of the cheek then belt buckle, knife, flashlight, all tha tstuff will have an effect.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:37:59 AM EDT
just to reiterate, military compasses have a locking bezel feature, they are also protetced on both sides somewhat due to the clamshell design. given some of the well known shortcomings in the camm design I do believe that things such as this and overall durability wer ein fact major considerations for the .mil.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 7:32:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
I keep 2 USGI compasses together with no issues.

Don't ask Don't Tell Lives On......

Link Posted: 2/15/2013 9:27:40 PM EDT
compasses are almost always in earth's perpetual magnetic field.

you have way bigger things to worry abt.
Link Posted: 2/16/2013 4:19:56 AM EDT
My son's silva has apparently magnetized north on the dial somehow. Cant get the arrow to sit still anywhere near the N when they intersect. Pretty weird.

Just found out when trying to use it for a Boy Scout orienteering activity a couple weekends ago.
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