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The Keychain Compass: Do Something Stunning With Your Keys

The compass keychain comes in many forms. The keychain compass was invented many years ago, and still continues to stand on its own two legs in spite of advancements such as GPS. This can be attributed to the fact that the compass bears no technological weakness from low batteries or lost satellite signals.

The compass keychain comes in many forms. Even with GPS’s recent dominance in navigational technology, the keychain compass is still as valued by nautical decor collectors and adventurers alike. The compass does not use electronics such as batteries or satellites, so it cannot shut down from a low battery or lose signal on a cloudy day like a GPS can. The unreliability of the GPS is a weakness that the compass does not suffer from. Different situations call for different compasses, and there are quite a few variations to help out when facing different obstacles that are often encountered during travel.
The “closed face” keychain compass is a variation of the regular compass. This type of compass is called a “closed face” because that is exactly how it looks. The internal mechanisms of the closed face compass are shielded by a face operated by a hinge, which allows it to be open and shut at will. These compasses do not need a hinge, and can be fitted with a lid that comes completely off of the compass. World War II was the era that was known for producing the closed face compass, so finding an authentic model from that era may run a hefty price.
The “open face” compass is a much different style from the closed face. Not unlike the closed face compass, the open face compass is just as the name implies - wide open without a lid covering it. The open nature of this compass makes it a convenient tool when one is in a hurry and can’t afford to fumble with the compass for too long.
The keychain compass with a prism is called a prismatic compass for obvious reasons. The protective case of the prismatic compass includes an easily read scale for identifying one’s bearing. The prism of the prismatic compass is usually found at the compass’s bottom. The UK military has been known to employ the use of the prismatic compass.
Then there is the lensatic keychain compass, which contains one of more lenses. The lens, or lenses, of the lensatic compass are necessary for reading the scale of this type of keychain compass. The U.S. military has employed the use of the lensatic compass for over 100 years.
The transit compass has a front and a rear transit sight that it uses to its advantage. The transit compass is commonly included with a prism-based rear sight just like the prismatic compass. Also, the transit compass is similar to the lensatic compass for including a front sight as well. This makes the prismatic and lensatic compasses a kind of sub category of the transit compass family.
Unlike the other types of compasses, the base plate keychain compass’s design is much more simplistic. The design of the base plate compass is totally transparent. Because of this transparency, the base plate is a practical compass for map reading.
The aforementioned compasses are just a quick overview of the different types available today. Depending on what your preference is, you will find many great compasses at nautical decorations stores. For example, hikers like to carry around what is called an “accessory compass”, or a compass that is housed in hiking equipment, i.e. a hunting knife. Other compasses may come with such things as: magnifiers, mirrorsFind Article, and/or clinometers. Compasses with mirrors accurately read distant landmarks; compasses with a clinometer measure inclination accurately; and compasses with a magnifier read finely detailed map points.

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George is an avid collector and connoisseur of all things nautical- nautical decor, model boats, historical artifacts, etc. He has written articles for several large manufacturers and retailers of model ships, and he is a master ship builder himself. He brings a unique perspective from both the retail and the consumer side of the nautical decorating and model boat building markets.

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