Compass Caddy First Look

We told you first about the Compass Caddy, and we’ve finally got out onto the mountains of Snowdonia (on the Marchllyn Circuit, if anyone’s interested) to test one of the first prototypes.

As it’s been printed on a 3D printer, which is pretty cool in itself, we’re not reviewing this fully just yet as the build quality of the final product will be much better and it’s only a prototype. So how did it fare?

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Most importantly, we found that it actually holds the compass firmly in place. We didn’t lose it on the descent! We didn’t attach a cable tie as supplied this time around, which provides a hard stop for the Compass Caddy and keeps it exactly where you need it. That is apparently, a couple of centimetres below the handle – as this is easier to see, less likely to hit your leg and doesn’t add any noticeable weight.

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Some commenters on Instagram asked if the compass would work begin in such close proximity to a metal pole? We found that the poles didn’t interfere with the compass. The poles would need to be made of a ferrous metal and as such would weigh a ton. Most poles we’ve owned have been either aluminium, titanium or carbon fibre.

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We also had a play using the pole to take a bearing to a landmark (we’ve got to coin a name for this technique!). This works well as you can line the pole up with the landmark. This obviously works for walking on a bearing too. Take your bearing from the map, and then use the pole to line up the bearing with the ground and off you go.

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We didn’t try it out on our lightweight poles – only on our 18mm Lekis. You currently need to put a few turns of tape around the pole to fit onto lighter 16mm poles (as we realised the first time we took it out, without reading the instructions!).

There’s also a Lanyard Notch that allows you to wrap the lanyard safely out of the way, and also secures the compass to the Compass Caddy. Of course, we forgot to read the instructions fully before our initial photo shoot, and so this is how you don’t wrap your lanyard around the pole! This allows you to still use the toggles on the lanyard for counting paces during serious bits of navigation.

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Overall, we found that the Compass Caddy proves a truly useful bit of kit on the hill. In fact, the more we use it, the more it grows on us. This is probably the most convenient way to actually carry a compass as it’s usually stowed away, or kept out of reach in a pocket with other items where it’s of little use. We’d even say it makes it worth considering taking poles on a walk where walking on a bearing was likely just in order to use it!

We’re looking forward to seeing this in production!

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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