Thumb compass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thumb compass on left

A thumb compass is a type of compass commonly used in orienteering, a sport in which map reading and terrain association are paramount. In cases of homogenous terrain with few distinct features, a bearing between 2 known points on the map may be used. Consequently, most thumb compasses have minimal or no degree markings at all, and are normally used only to take bearings directly from a map, and to orient a map to magnetic north. Thumb compasses are also often transparent so that an orienteer can hold a map in the hand with the compass and see the map through the compass.

Thumb compasses attach to one's thumb using a small elastic band.

The first commercially successful orienteering thumb compass was the Norcompass, introduced by Suunto in 1983.[1]

"The Gear Junkie," a syndicated newspaper columnist in the United States, has an in-depth review of thumb compasses.[2]

Placing an even greater emphasis on speed over accuracy, the wrist compass lacks even a baseplate, consisting solely of a needle capsule strapped to the carpometacarpal joint at the base of the thumb; the thumb serves the function of a baseplate when taking and sighting bearings. It is often used for city and park race orienteering.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]