Starting as a field scientist in the heady days when men were men and GPS was not available to common civilians, I learned my way around a compass pretty well. I thought I knew something coming out of Boy Scouts but putting those skills to the test mile after mile in order to locate a distant waypoint or build a map by hand honed those skills and etched them indelibly on my brain. Friendly competition arose amongst colleagues testing our pace and compass work over miles of rough ground in the eastern woodlands. The West is easy in comparison with open forests, plains, and grand vistas for taking long sightings. To this day, I generally prefer a pocket compass to a GPS and if I could choose only one, it would be one of these wireless beauties.A surveyor’s sighting compass can just about perform miracles in the right hands and my trusty Brunton Pocket Transit, after all these years, still finds it’s way into my field bag for big jobs. Get a compass, learn to really use it. Keep it handy, and you may never be truly lost.