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The Button Compass: Never Leave Home Without It.

button compass in hand using for trekking

Getting lost is no fun, whether you're in the woods or the city. But what if I told you there's a simple way to find your way back, no matter where you are? That's where the humble button compass comes in—a small but powerful tool that can keep you on track, and walk a straight line to safety when every step counts.

Survival is simple- you start by not getting lost. A button compass is a cheap insurance policy that can guide you back home and wont break the bank.

At its core, a button compass serves a crucial purpose: helping you maintain your direction of travel. Whether you're navigating dense woods, trekking unfamiliar terrain, or simply trying to find your way back to camp, knowing which way is north can mean the difference between life and death. With a quick glance at your trusty button compass, you can ensure that you're walking in a straight line, avoiding the disorientation that can lead to getting hopelessly lost.

Now, what happens when the weather turns against you? Cloudy skies, foggy conditions, or blinding whiteouts can wreak havoc on even the most seasoned navigator. But fear not—with a basic compass in hand, you can maintain your bearings even when visibility is reduced to near-zero. While it may not provide the precision of a high-tech GPS unit, a button compass can prevent you from walking in circles and help you stay on course until conditions improve.

But survival isn't just about braving the wilderness. Sometimes, an urban setting can be just as unforgiving. Picture yourself in a strange city, disoriented by the maze of streets and alleys. Maybe it's nighttime, maybe it's cloudy—either way, you're in unfamiliar territory. That's where your button compass comes to the rescue. By giving you a general sense of direction, it can help you find your way back to familiar territory or landmarks, ensuring that you don't end up wandering aimlessly.

It's wise to have at least a basic understanding of the terrain around you. Consider carrying a map or familiarizing yourself with key features. This knowledge can be invaluable for terrain association, where you use landmarks and features to guide your way alongside a compass. By recognizing what you see in the terrain and matching it with your map, you'll boost your navigation skills and feel more confident on your journey_

What sets the button compass apart from its bulkier counterparts is its size and simplicity. Unlike traditional compasses with their cumbersome housings and moving parts, a button compass is compact enough to slip into your pocket or hang from your keychain. It's the ultimate in portability and convenience, ensuring that you always have a reliable navigational aid close at hand.

Ever wondered if your trusty compass is truly pointing north when you need it most?

Sometimes, your compass can lose its way, whether it's been hanging around too much metal or just needs a little pick-me-up. But how do you know if it's still got its bearings straight? Well, you could try the ol' sun-check or consult a map, but what if those methods leave you scratching your head? It's vital to have confidence in your compass before packing it into your bug out bag or gear, ensuring that it reliably guides you true.

The compass needle is essentially a tiny magnet, usually crafted from steel or a similar magnetized material. One end naturally leans towards the Earth's magnetic North Pole, while the other prefers the South Pole. This magnetization is what helps the marked needle align with the Earth's magnetic field, giving us a reliable pointer towards the North Pole for navigation_

In our daily lives, magnets are often hidden in plain sight. Take, for instance, the cordless drill tucked away in your workshop or closet. While it may not resemble a traditional magnet, its rechargeable battery harbors a powerful secret: a magnetic field. This field, generated by the stored electricity within the battery, may not be immediately apparent, but its effects can be profound. When brought into proximity with a compass needle, this magnetic field can polarize and strengthen the needle, helping it regain its northward orientation.

Now, you might be wondering, how exactly do you go about charging the needle of your compass using this magnetic field? It's simpler than you might think. Start by laying your malfunctioning compass flat on a stable surface, ensuring the needle is free to move and far from any potential interference.

bring a magnetic source or magnet closer to the compass, this being a cordless drill to re magnitize the needle

Next, bring the cordless drill's battery – the source of that potent magnetic field – close to the compass needle.

bringing the cordless dril closer to see the affects of its magnetic field on the compass on the flat unobstructed table

As you do so, observe how the needle responds, eagerly aligning itself with the battery's magnetic force. Leave the compass in this position for several hours, ideally overnight, allowing the magnetic field to work its magic. During this time, the battery's magnetic field will gradually polarize and strengthen the compass needle, restoring its ability to point steadfastly towards magnetic north.

bring the cordless drill closest to the compass for maximun magnetic pull/affect of its magnetic properties to charge the north pointing needle

Now, let's put your compass to the test. To ensure it's pointing north again, there are a couple of simple methods you can use. You can gauge its accuracy by observing the sun's position or by cross-referencing it with a map featuring known landmarks or cardinal directions.

using the sun and post method in hand to double check cardinal accuracy

Hold your compass steady and compare its readings with these reliable reference points. If they align, your compass is back on course. If not, adjust as necessary until you're confident in its accuracy. You do this by placing the compass in a closer proximity for a longer period of time.

When it comes to trekking on or off trail, It's wise to have at least a basic understanding of the terrain around you. Consider carrying a map or familiarizing yourself with surrounding features. This knowledge can be invaluable for terrain association, where you use landmarks and features to guide your way alongside a compass. By recognizing what you see in the terrain and matching it with your map, you'll boost your navigation skills and feel more confident on your journey.

Before heading out, double-check all your compasses using an oriented map or road map. This step is essential not only for compasses with needles that sit atop a "post," but also for floating bubble types, which are frequently used when venturing out. Ensure they're stored away from heavy metals and anything that might obstruct the needle's movement. By keeping your compasses in prime condition, you can trust that they'll steer you reliably wherever your journey leads, providing the confidence you require in your navigation equipment.

In conclusion, the button compass may not be the flashiest piece of survival gear, but it's undoubtedly one of the most practical. From keeping you on course in the wilderness to guiding you through unfamiliar city streets, its utility knows no bounds. So the next time you venture into the great unknown, don't forget to tuck a button compass into your pocket. You never know when it might just save your skin.

I'm all about simplicity and practicality, especially when it comes to my everyday carry (EDC) gear. That's why this 'liquid-filled' compass is my top choice when I'm out hunting or exploring. It's just like the button compass I mentioned earlier, but the cool thing is, you can pin it right onto your clothes. Plus – it spins freely and gives accurate readings without needing to hold it parallel to the ground. This means you can keep your hands free to grip onto things like trekking poles or gear. Trust me, it's been a real lifesaver for me out there.-jb


...Also, I got a few more good deals from MPS to share- Be sure to check them out!

I'm truly grateful for your support as I continue to grow, and I'm excited to share with you the best deals on gear that I personally recommend and use. Stay tuned for more updates and recommendations!-jb


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Jamie B
Jamie B
Apr 03

The compasses I use most for personal use are simple button and bubble type. They are not limited to post “drag” and have great recovery on uneven terrain. I’ll share how I use these for navigating.

I like to b-line back to my vehicle to beat darkness when I’m hunting and when traveling in new areas. Folks underestimate the usefulness of a pin on or button compass!



Jamie B
Jamie B
Apr 01

I've had my fair share of getting turned around, maybe even lost a couple of times. It happened once when I was blood-tracking a deer. My focus was on the ground, and as nightfall settled in, my flashlight provided only limited visibility. Before I knew it, I was disoriented within a square mile. Sure, I eventually found my way out, but it was thanks to the incessant barking of a dog at a nearby farm, giving direction to the next mile road adjacent. It was a close call that could've turned bad if my flashlight had died or if I had kept stumbling around in complete darkness. That's why I now make sure to always carry a small cardinal pointing…

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