you asked: my baseplate compass (does anyone else still use them and not thumb compasses?)
Glen uses a baseplate, and does pretty well with it. :-) (I prefer the thumb compass myself.)
Yes to both (baseplate and clipper punches). I will use a thumb compass with magnifier on 1:15.
I've never even tried a thumb compass, although at the rogaine in Estonia maybe I sort of did. Because when it got dark and we were in a hurry to get one more control in the waning light, I just pulled out my little backup light because it takes me a couple of minutes to set up the headlamp and run the wires. And the little light seemed fine, and maybe laziness played a part, and also wearing a headlamp for 10 hours is a little hard on the forehead, whatever, the headlamp spent the whole night in my pack.
But of course the little light used up a hand to hold it. So I started just slapping the baseplate down on the map, just like I think you do with a thumb compass, line it up the way you should, and grabbing both with one hand. And I recall it seemed to work rather nicely.
So maybe I ought to try a thumb compass. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
I switched to a thumb in 2001 after 11 years with a baseplate. It took an entire summer of orienteering nearly every day until I felt totally comfortable with it. Now I use thumb most of the time, though often switch to baseplate at night for stability.
The Hollis O-Ringen sounds really cool. Will think about organizing something like this in Uppsala.
When I first got the magnifier, I thought it was screwing me up. Then I realized that it was the thumb compass that was throwing me. Like Boris, it took dozens of sessions to make the adjustment. Fortunately, this was in 2005-2006 when I was getting out on maps a lot. By the end of 2006, I felt I could switch between thumb and baseplate without a problem.
I think I'd probably have the opposite problem. I'm not sure I'd really know what to do with a baseplate compass. How do you hold it? What do you do with it? Which hand do you use to shove people out of the way?
You hang it on a string around your neck. Like, duh!