A lensatic or military compass is used in conjunction with a topographical map top to set course bearings and follow a course over land. The lensatic compass allows users to create a set of directions to a desired location in magnetic degrees. The lensatic compass possesses a magnetized north-seeking arrow and a floating 360-degree dial that allows the user to determine which direction is north, south, east and west.
- Understand the basics
The military compass enables the user to find the azimuth or direction of travel. To find the azimuth, open the compass so that the cover is at a 90-degree angle and the lens is at a 30-degree angle. Insert your thumb through the loop, and hold the compass so that it rests on your thumb and bent index finger.
- Take a course bearing
With the compass properly positioned, raise it so that it is at eye level. Line up a distant object using the sight and the groove in the lens bracket. Read and record the two sets of numbers. The degrees are in red, and mils are in black. This reading is the azimuth and must be applied in the subsequent steps.
- Set and follow a course
Open the compass completely, and place it on a level map with the azimuth under the index line. Hold the compass in this position, and rotate the bezel until the indicator is over the north arrow to set the course. To review the course, open the compass, and line up the indicator with the north arrow while keeping the bezel stationary.