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A Compass for Beginners

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 31 March 2014, 1:13 PM  
For many years the Silva Mapguide compass was the compass of choice for coaches of beginner orienteers. The absence of degree markings was important for focussing attention on the map. The price was good too.

Silva stopped making them last year and NZ stocks have now run out. What are people working with beginners (eg schools) using now? The next offering from Silva is $40-50 for a baseplate with degrees, and then a big jump to nearly $100 for a thumbie.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 1 April 2014, 3:23 PM  
This looks like a similar needle. The carabiner may discourage using it ON THE MAP but what do people actually coaching think?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 2 April 2014, 7:47 AM  

I took a look at the Metro today. The pictures suggest the needle might be similar to the Mapguide but I think it is smaller. I was hoping I might be able to attach a thumb strap somehow but I doubt it. Are there any coaches reading this?

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 2 April 2014, 9:38 AM  
Yes, I was looking to get some clip-on compasses at the end of last year but saw they weren't available so was wondering a similar question.

The Metro looks better than nothing.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 2 April 2014, 2:12 PM  
We are just using a thumb compass with Kaia as we thought it was better to start with the technique that she should continue with. Kaia sadly is not particularly keen on orienteering anyway but Jean would be proud of how well she folds her map - sometimes so small that the thumb compass covers over the top of the whole course. Have to develop that a bit better - will be easier when her hands are bigger.

Show Profile  Tim Longson Posted: 3 April 2014, 4:04 PM  
I am in the process of importing some compasses for use in NZ.
Primarily I'm trying to supply a cheap, fast and stable thumbie comparable to the Silva Jet 6 - around $60-$80 hopefully nearer $60.
But there are other options you may be interested in for kids. These being a very cheap thumbie around $20, it has a cheap wobbly needle, (typical of a cheap compass but still perfectly serviceable if you stop and stand still). Also a clip type - same idea as the Silva Mapguide but larger. This can come with a good needle or elcheapo needle and the prices would be as above.
Or you can have standard plate, or wrist mount. The thumb plate is reversible for left or right hand.
You can have the dial with degrees or colour coded , or blank (probably).
I've given a couple of the better thumbie samples to Greg and Matt and their feedback was positive.
I have some samples here now, and a few more coming in a month. Let me know if you are interested.
Oh, and while I'm at it, for the more decrepit among us - AFFORDABLE magnifying glasses that screw on to the thumbie like the Moscow. They are plastic but only will be around $15.

Show Profile  Lyn Stanton Posted: 7 April 2014, 1:05 PM  
I'd be interested in an affordable thumb compass that I could recommend to MAGS orienteers. Tell me more.

Show Profile  Tim Longson Posted: 7 April 2014, 2:22 PM  
The best bet is to have a look, try one, and decide on which options you want. I'll be at AKSS Relays 16th April, the A-series at Bombay this Sunday, and all the North West Rogaine series. I have various samples here now. I hope to have a few more thumb compasses, (both needle types), to sell in a couple of weeks, and depending on interest some of the other options.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 12 October 2016, 6:09 AM  
Silva now has a small back-of-the-hand compass called the Begin. The needle is tiny but the size may suit littlies whose hand is not big enough for a Moscow Beginner. Now available in Australia and New Zealand.

Show Profile  Chris Forne Posted: 13 October 2016, 2:20 AM  
Kanpas - make both Northern and Southern Hemisphere orienteering compasses which are excellent quality and cheap. Their top models seem at least as fast and stable at best Silva Jet models and about a third of the cost. I am keen to try out some of their mid range models for schools/beginner use - will post feedback when I finally get around to this.




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