The Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass
I have updated this post from the original.
I can be old-fashioned in many ways, especially when something works well. “Like my daddy used to say, … if it ain’t broke, … don’t fix it”!
My father didn’t use those exact words, but often reminded me of this wisdom, whenever I tried to introduce some new-fangled idea that I had just discovered.
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that my father was a dinosaur. As a matter of fact, he was always appreciative and intrigued by the “progress of man”, but just because something was new, it didn’t mean, it was better.
I’ve grown more attached to this way of thinking as I age, and become more experienced and mature.
This is why in today’s world of electronic navigation, a mechanical compass and a printed map are still my favourite tools of navigation. I’m not opposed to the use of modern electronic navigation, but for me, a map and compass are a more reliable way to navigate, in my wilderness.
A compass is one of my 10 essentials. It never leaves my survival kit except to hang around my neck. With a small learning curve, a map and compass will get you back home safely.
The Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass is a professional grade compass that will be very useful and greatly appreciated by beginners and seasoned professionals alike.
It has adjustable declination so that you can set the declination for use in the area you will be using this compass. This is a must to understand and your compass has to be set for the geographical area you will be using it in, for it to work with your topographic map.
In North America, declination can vary by more than 20 degrees east or west, depending on your location.
This declination is at the bottom of your topographic map and must be used to orient your map properly to set a bearing. (see video below) There is a small screwdriver attached to the lanyard for this purpose.
The magnetic needle is balanced on a jewel bearing for quick, stable, and smooth operation.
This Suunto compass is a base-plate type, orienteering compass that really shows its worth when used in combination with a map.
Anyone spending time in the outdoors, … such as geologists, loggers, prospectors, surveyors, and weekend warriors, would be well advised to carry a compass.
This is an orienteering compass for use in the Northern Hemisphere.
The NH designation is for Northern Hemisphere.
Be sure to check this feature when purchasing this compass.
Product: Suunto MC-2 NH Mirror Compass
The (NH) signifies for use in the Northern Hemisphere. There is also an (SH)Southern Hemisphere, and a (G) Global version of this compass.
Price: Prices will vary with the model you choose and your country of origin.
Best Place to Buy: Amazon
These compasses are also available at other outdoor retail outlets.
Amazon Prime: Check out this very important Amazon feature to greatly reduce your shipping costs and in many cases get FREE, 2-day shipping!
My Rating: 9.9 out of 10
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- high-grade steel needle with jewel bearing
- adjustable declination correction set screw
- mirror with a centerline, hole, and notch for sighting bearings
- protractor with orienting lines for navigating with a map
- long straight edge for making map work easier
- liquid-filled capsule for stable operation
- clinometer for measuring slopes
- magnifying lens for reading map symbols
- red scales for easy reading on the map
- slope ruler
- 3 non-skid footpads to prevent it from slip-sliding all over your map
- luminescent markings on the cardinal points, (the primary directions, north, south, east, and west) for working in low light conditions
- lightweight at 75 grams
The Bad and the Ugly
- this should be common knowledge to all seasoned adventurers, however, I will point this out as a reminder to everyone, … be careful that you are not too close to any metallic objects or materials
- Iron Ore ” in-the-ground ” will also affect the magnetic needle and give you a false reading.
- the “how to use this product” instructions are very small and difficult to read, however, this is understandable given the total amount of written knowledge required to learn proper compass use. this is not “bad”, but just a heads-up
- yes, you must learn how to use this compass
How To Use The Product
Basic compass use is explained quite well in the included instructions. These instructions are available in ten languages. English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch and Japanese.
Even though these instructions are of excellent quality, they are in very small font size and make reading them quite a challenge. Other than this, I have no complaints about this product.
Spend the time to look at this video. It is very good. It describes compass use very well. Look at it a few times to get it all. Nothing is worse than having a shiny new compass and not being able to use it properly.
Have a look at this excellent video on compass use!
Who is this Product For?
Anyone spending recreational time in the great outdoors, or any person earning a living there, such as a forester, a prospector, a park ranger, a land surveyor or anyone involved in similar activities, should carry a compass … and know how to use it!
I would like to mention that this version, the NH ( Northern Hemisphere ) compass, is for North of the Equator use … there is also an SH ( Southern Hemisphere ) for use South of the Equator.
The (G) version can be used anywhere on the planet. It is, however, a more complicated model and I would not recommend this model for beginners.
In addition to the NH and the SH versions of this compass, Suunto also makes a Global Compass. This Global Compass has dial graduations in mils ( mil-radians ) as opposed to degrees like the NH and SH Compasses have.
My Thoughts about this fine product
I have been using this Suunto Orienteering Compass for many years. This is a professional-grade, precision instrument that any serious outdoor enthusiast would be proud to own.
The great advantage of having a compass with you … and knowing how to use it, is the fact that it will always be able to provide you with reliable navigational data, provided you do not place the magnetic needle near metal objects.
There are no batteries to die out on you, no need to wait for a satellite to pass overhead and no electronics to go “coo-coo”, at the time when you really need to take a bearing!
GPS units are excellent tools and have their purpose. A compass is much less expensive and a definite must even if you carry a GPS unit. If you carry a GPS, this is a must “back-up” tool to bring along.
This Suunto MC-2 NH Orienteering Compass has never let me down and has all the excellent features mentioned above. It is constructed of very high-grade materials and with great craftsmanship.
The Suunto Company Warranty and the warranties provided by the many Retailers that sell this product ensure that this compass will serve you well for many years to come
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this product, The Suunto Orienteering Compass, please leave them in the space below.
I would be pleased to hear from you. Perhaps the years I’ve spent in the outdoor wilderness can be of benefit to you.