Most good quality compasses, such as our favorite, the Suunto M3, come with a lanyard cord. Many people assume this is for hanging the compass around your neck.
You could do this, but unless you’re about 3 feet tall, you’ll find that in order to properly use the compass to take a bearing by holding it at your waist, the cord isn’t long enough. So, if you hang the compass around your neck, every time you want to use it, you have to take it off, which is kind of a bother if you’re using your compass a lot.
Here’s a better approach. If you are using your compass a bunch, girth hitch the lanyard cord through a belt loop, near the front pocket of your pants or shorts, then just put the compass in your pocket.
There’s two main advantages to doing this. One you can easily hold the compass at waist level to take a bearing, and two, you can never lose your compass because it’s permanently tied onto your pants.
Now, let’s be realistic, 99% of the time you are not going to be traveling in the backcountry with your compass glued to your hand like this. But for those times when you do have to use it, this is a great way to carry it.