When running I find it hard to focus on fine detail on the map as it shakes around so much. Does a magnifier on a thumb compass help see fine detail when running or just make it worse?
The magnifier helps for bad eye sight - works for me - but not for shaky maps if you don´t hold your hand still ;)
I like using a magnifier on my thumb compass once near the control to see details. Thus helps me not have to raise the map close to my eyes and lift my glasses out of the way to see the details.
But when running legs I usually pivot the magnifier out of the way and try to focus on the bigger picture and features.
Thus my use wouldn’t work for you but I encourage you to try out a magnifier for yourself to see if it works for you. Either buy a cheap magnifier to try out or borrow a magnifier to see if it works for you.
I second Brians' way of doing it. For longer legs it doesn´t really help and I too move it aside while for cluttered and detailed areas it certainly does.
(Due to my age I now mostly run on 1:7500 maps and don´t always need a magnifier.)
As a solution besides a magnifier are these orienteering glasses with magnification area (multiple magnification levels) at the bottom of lense for map reading or any other fine print during daily activities.https://www.all4o.com/sports-glasses/frenson-focus...https://www.all4o.com/sports-glasses/frenson-focus...
The ability to see the map while running is a skill, unconscious, that is acquired by running and map reading. It took me awhile for my brain to adjust. Sometimes you just have to slow down, or stop, to read the map. Looking at the map a lot while running is actually not a great way to go. I remember once actually running into a tree as a beginner.
The world's best orienteers (i.e. Thierry, Olav, Daniel etc) tend to read the map a _lot_. I particularly recommend this video of Jonas Leandersson running a training camp sprint race: He is looking at the map every 3-5 seconds, even using a two-handed grip when working out complicated details.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGdZLCxCwo0
My practice with this goes back many decades but when I was starting orienteering the common advice was to do running training while trying to read something, like a magazine or comic book or old course maps while on the run. In those days just past the middle of the last century of course there were not so many compasses with magnifiers or even maps to read.
But I think the truth is still there that if we don't practice it we won't be able to do it.
It must be easier for younger generations, as they're all so used to multi-tasking (ie looking at their smartphones while walking/running/driving[!!!] around). :-)
Simmo, but do they do it well?
I agree with read often.
Jonas L is obviously well-practiced.