Starting in the upper left and moving more-or-less clockwise: small tomahawk, portmanteau, stoneware jug, braided buckskin cord, patch knife, buckskin bag for brass sundial compass, wool bonnet (tam o’shanter), trade bead necklace, small gourd for salt, pewter beer mug (could possibly hold water too), canteen gourd, Knife River flint blades, needle case and bone needles, strike-a-light and char-cloth box, wooden bowl and spoon, buckskin bag, bone handled eating knife, waterproofed leather bag, bark tanned belt pouch, buckskin neck bag containing spare fire kit, net shuttle holding hemp line, sewing kit in buckskin bag, wooden needle case with needles, argillite pipe with buckskin bag, fine hemp line, extra blanket pin, belt, pampooties (ghillie shoes), bamboo container containing larger bone awls and other bone tools, in the center, shoulder bag.
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.