Regular compass vs kayak compass

Anyone use regular handheld compass for kayaking ?

Any disadvantages for using these compared to pure kayak compass (besides hassle of having to hold it up in front of you) ??

You need both
An orienteering-type compass for plotting your route on a map, and a boat-mounted compass to hold a heading. Unless you want to attempt a sighting every few minutes in waves and wind.


You have to stop paddling, find compass, make sure it’s on the centerline of the boat. Hard to make course corrections.

With compass and chart on deck you just keep on course…

Looks cool… GH

anything works on a pond!

– Last Updated: May-11-04 11:34 AM EST –

but for even moderately choppy conditions combined with fog you'll be glad of a marine compass. Unless you fancy taking you hands off your paddle frequently to find out your course. A really good marine compass like the classic nexus (now brunton 70 P) handles huge degrees of pitch and large degrees of roll and helps you hold a course. Magnetic compasses attached to gps units say in the instructions that they must be flat

Last time this question got asked it got pretty ugly. Think I'll go home now.

To get home if it is foggy, I'll use charts, compass, and dead reckoning, and cheat and peek at the gps to see if my developing but highly imperfect skills are useful at all.

orca vs brunton 58
So far i’ve only seen these 2 kayak compass being offered online. Any reservations between these 2 guys ???

thanks again

Holy crap !!!
You need all that on a pond?



I dont know
I have a deck compass, but its wayyyyyyy easier to get a bearing from my hand compass even easier with the GPS!!

I’m having a talking GPS installed
in a molar.

You may start picking up a hip-hop & rap station over your molar reveiver.


you say that like its a bad thing? L

I never met a compass…
that I didn’t like. I have mounted a compass for open water passage, one inside my binoculars for piloting, and a handheld one for backup that can be used either way. In addition to the compass thing, I always have charts even for familar waters close to home. We don’t have a lot of fog in Florida, but in previous years in both New England and the Pacific Northwest, fog was frequently a factor in coastal navigation. Charts and compasses are good items to have on large water, for any type of water craft.

I recommend that you try several types and have at least two compasses with you at all times when you are on big water.



String Rapping?
Now that’s a scary thought!

compass over gps

– Last Updated: May-11-04 1:15 PM EST –

I run 2 garmin gps on the lobster boat but always refer to my trusty magnetic compass.especially if I've stopped for a moment or am drifting, the gps will "jump" on the plotter screen and you have to start moving to reestablish magnetic heading.////the only thing missing from rap is a C in front of it.

I wouldn’t be bad
If it was actual music. Since hip-hop and rap cannot be sung (repeated) by others, it does not qualify as music!


Know why compasses come with a mirror?
So you can see who is lost.

Mine is…
…the clip on bungee mounted, I want to say Orca but the only name I can find is on the compass itself, Suunto???

No complaints…

On one I’ve seen you can remove the compass to use as a hand held…

With the clip on style you can take it from boat to boat… GH

Orienteering compasses

Just a small remark concerning orienteering compasses, which may be common knowledge.

The real orienteering compasses used by the runners, are not (at least in scandinavia) equal to any old handheld compass.

These days many have switched to thumb-compasses, which clearly don’t work for paddlers:

However there are also orienteering baseplate compasses, which are not equal to normal baseplate compasses. This is the one I use for paddling:

The main difference between this compass and my old baseplate compasses(1 Silva, 1 Suunto), is that the needle doesn’t get stuck when the housing is tilted. It look’s crazy, but I can tilt the compass to an almost vertical position, turn around and the needle continuously rotates to point at north. My old Suunto compass gets stuck when I tilt at no more than 20 degrees.

On my old kayak, I had glued tracks to the deck which I could insert the compass into. Worked pretty good.


wrist compass
work well, simply place your hand with the compass mounted into your elbow of the opposite arm, it will create your lubber line and give an accurate heading. works well under water but inconvienent for paddling since you have to stop paddling to orient

I am the terminator…
I have a GPS hooked into my neural-net processor…it’s a learning computer, so once I’ve gone somewhere it never forgets. Actually i just have a pocket compass that has gotten me home for like 15 years now, so i see no need to spend more money unless it’s to look good.

I haven’t been using my compass
while rolling. Does it help? Will I miss fewer rolls?