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Basic Compass Question


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I'm interested in buying a compass to aid in navigation on my day hikes. I was wondering if there is any advantage to a global compass as opposed to a northern hemisphere one besides working in the southern hemisphere. 

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If you are only going to be hiking in the NH, there is no real advantage to a global compass over a northern hemisphere compass.  The global compass almost always cost more because it uses a more sophisticated needle/magnet system to compensate for tilt in the magnetic field. The magnetic field is not always horizontal and as you get closer to the south or north pole, the magnetic field becomes more vertical. Separate northern and southern hemisphere compasses weight their needles differently to maintain needle balance across their respective hemispheres while the more sophisticated setup in a global compass can maintain needle balance worldwide.

DO get a compass with adjustable declination though, as it will make navigating much easier once you have the correct declination dialled in.

Edited by PaulGS
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