Knowing which direction you are going in is vital if you want to do well in any Trailquest. Many competitors have ended their chance of a top result by taking the wrong turn at a complex junction, then riding for a kilometre or more before realising the landmarks they are seeing are not the ones they'd expect from the map. They then have to retrace their route losing lots of time in the process. Sound familiar?
This sort of error can easily be avoided by the use of a good compass, but that compass needs to be level and in-view all the time.
The Silva 19L clip-on compass is designed to overcome this problem by clipping to the map board so it is working accurately and is constantly visible.
Measuring 75mm x 39mm and weighing just 23 grams, this compass is relatively small and light. The plastic is springy enough to allow it to fit to a wide variety of map boards, but strong enough to ensure it stays in place. We have used this compass in many Trailquests and not yet had it come away from the map board, even over some very rough ground.
Because the compass has no markings it can be orientated in any direction. This means it can simply be clipped to a corner of the map board away from where you are currently riding, then removed and re-clipped as you cover more of the course. The compass only covers a minimal portion of the map-board but is transparent so the map can still be seen through it. It works really well with rotating map boards.
For simplicity's sake the compass only has a needle with North marked on it. There are no markings on the housing, no base plate lines and no measuring scales. As with all good Silva compasses the needle responds very quickly to changes in direction and is damped for stability. Even when turning the compass quickly through 360 degrees, the needle always points steadily to North.
For anyone who is competing regularly in Trailquests, we would rate this as an essential piece of equipment.