Compass Caddy: Clips your Compass to your Trekking Pole project video thumbnail
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£551 pledged of £12,500 goal
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By Peter Knight
£551 pledged of £12,500 goal
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About this project

Thanks to all those who backed the Kickstarter project, which sadly hasn't achieved its target. However we received some great feedback and positive prototype test reviews which has given us great encouragement. We're still pushing ahead - go to www.compasscaddy.com to find out more, where you can also sign up for our newsletter.

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"There are many products out there that promise to make life better. Mostly they fail or cause more problems than they solve, but just occasionally you find one that really does what it promises. The Compass Caddy is one of those." - Colin Ibbotson, Tramplite's Travels

"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" - Dave Roberts, Mud & Routes

"An unexpected advantage for me was the benefit of my trekking pole in aiding navigation....(having) my compass attached to my trekking pole is like having a sniper scope for compass navigation....It’s so simple I wish I had thought of it!" - Brian Green, Brian's Backpacking Blog

Making compass navigation easier

A compass is great for navigation, but only if you consult it often. That's not easy when it's hanging around your neck, or in a pocket - especially if both your hands are already occupied with trekking poles, or are warm and dry in your gloves.

The Compass Caddy is a lightweight, easy-to-use plastic clip that attaches your compass to your trekking pole. It keeps your compass ready to hand when you need it, and out of the way when you don't.

So compass navigation is quicker and easier, which gives you more time to focus on the reason you're out there - to enjoy the great outdoors.

The Caddy is designed to benefit hikers, trekkers, backpackers, orienteers, backcountry skiers - anybody who uses poles, and needs to navigate with a compass.

Simple to use, multiple benefits

Versatile by design, giving you options

The Compass Caddy is designed for maximum versatility - it fits most compasses and most trekking poles. That means you can use it with your favourite gear - and with most other compasses or poles you already own or are thinking of buying. That's the benefit of one-size-fits all. For more details, please see here.

Customise your Caddy - a Kickstarter exclusive

A one-time opportunity to get a personalised Caddy, custom-made for you, and delivered in August - earlier than a regular Caddy.

All Custom Caddies are embossed with your name (or other text of your choice) - great as a personalised gift, or just to show that it's yours!

You can also choose to vary the dimensions of your Caddy - useful if you have a non-standard sized compass or trekking pole. Select from three different caddy widths (to customise compass fit) and three different pole bay diameters (to tailor pole fit). You can mix and match these as needed. Detailed information is available here, in the section titled "What are the Custom Caddy options?".

  • Good as a personalised gift
  • Good for smaller diameter poles (ultralight 14 or 16mm poles)
  • Good for oval poles (eg some Black Diamond Poles)
  • Good for odd-sized compasses

Custom Caddies will be produced by commercial 3D printing. They will be made in nylon, and are only available in an off-white colour.

If you have any special customisation requirements or questions, be sure to contact me to discuss!

The Rewards - a quick guide

You can help bring the Compass Caddy to life by pledging for one of the rewards listed on the right hand side of this page and summarised below.

The Regular Joe option is the most flexible, as injection-moulded Caddies fit most compasses and poles. A good solution for most people.

The Gear Whisperer option is a Custom Caddy tailored to your requirements and personalised with your name. Great as a gift, or for people who want an exact fit to one compass and/or one pole.

The Gear Whisperer PLUS is for people who want the best of both worlds! Combines the Regular Joe with the Gear Whisperer.

The Club Pack is for group buys - you can save big-time on the postage, so good for international buyers, clubs or organisations.

The Early Bird options are available in limited numbers, as a special thanks to our early backers.

Your rewards will be shipped in simple, minimalist packaging to keep the shipping costs and packaging waste as low as possible. Shipping is included in the rewards price for the UK, but other countries may have extra shipping charges - these will be automatically displayed to you when you pledge.

You can change your pledge at any time during the campaign, and of course you can ask any questions or make any suggestions that you feel like.

The Production Plan

The Compass Caddy has evolved over one year and several dozen iterations, each trialled with the aid of a 3D printer. It has been extensively field-tested (by myself and others) in the UK, the US and in Nepal. The design has been tweaked and honed to be as efficient and lightweight as possible.

The next step is to manufacture the Caddy by plastic injection moulding. This is the most cost effective way of producing large numbers of high-quality Caddies.

I'm on Kickstarter to ask for your help to buy the injection mould. Most of the money raised will be spent on the injection mould itself, and on the initial production run of Caddies to fulfil the Kickstarter rewards. The rest of the money will go towards covering the postage and packing of the rewards and Kickstarter's fees.

I have spoken to fourteen injection moulding/tool making companies, visited seven of them and narrowed it down to a shortlist of three - one preferred company and two back-ups. All three can supply both the tooling (from my 3D-CAD design drawings) and conduct small-scale production runs - being able to do both was a key requirement. I have firm quotations in-hand and have determined the costs associated with the project, so I know that commitments can be fulfilled when the project is funded.

My Thanks

Thank you for supporting me. This Compass Caddy would not be possible without you, and I am very grateful. I would like to acknowledge the help of Julian Peck, William Knight, Brian Green (Brian's Backpacking Blog) and Dave Roberts (Mud & Routes), without whom the Caddy would not have progressed as far as it has.

If you like this project, then please share it on Facebook or Twitter and help to spread the word.

Risks and challenges

The crunch point in injection moulding is the initial tool trialing - does the mould output meet expectation? Usually some degree of tool tweaking is needed to get the required quality.

To mitigate the risk associated with this, I have only considered injection moulding companies where the same company provides both the injection mould tooling and the production runs, and the company guarantees the tooling. In practice, it then becomes the responsibility of the company to ensure that the final product meets my pre-specified standards, and it is their responsibility to tweak the tooling as required to achieve this.

In addition, it is important that the company be based in the UK, so I can easily visit the site. All three companies on my shortlist meet these criteria, are familiar with the Compass Caddy, and have provided firm quotes for the work. They (and I) are confident that it can be done.

With any project, timing is a risk that needs careful managing. In particular, the lead times for injection mould tooling run into months. I have built a buffer into the timings to allow for unforeseen problems. I pledge to communicate clearly, openly and frequently with backers to ensure that everyone is kept in the picture.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.57

    GOOD KARMA
    Every little helps! Our sincere thanks, and the option to have your name on our website Wall of Fame.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £12 or more About $19

    REGULAR JOE - EARLY BIRD
    Catch an early deal! Two Compass Caddies, one each in blue & green. With our grateful thanks, and the option to have your name on our website Wall of Fame.
    (Approx $19 | €17)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £14 or more About $22

    REGULAR JOE
    Two Compass Caddies, one each in blue & green. With our grateful thanks, and the option to have your name on our website Wall of Fame.
    (Approx $22 | €19)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    GEAR WHISPERER
    Kickstarter exclusive - get a personalised Caddy, custom-made for you - and delivered in August! Want your name embossed on your Caddy? Got an odd-shaped pole, or an unusual compass? We will custom design a Caddy for your needs, then print it in nylon with a commercial SLS 3D printer.
    (Approx $32 | €28)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $47

    GEAR WHISPERER PLUS - EARLY BIRD
    Another early deal! A personalised Caddy, custom-made for you and delivered in August as above, PLUS two regular Caddies, one each in blue & green, delivered in December. Enjoy the best of both worlds!
    (Approx $47 | €42)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £33 or more About $52

    GEAR WHISPERER PLUS
    A personalised Caddy, custom-made for you and delivered in August as above, PLUS two regular Caddies, one each in blue & green, delivered in December. Enjoy the best of both worlds!
    (Approx $52 | €46)

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    1 backer
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $71

    The CLUB PACK
    Find some friends, save some money! Ten regular Caddies, 5 in blue and 5 in green. Benefit from the postal savings. Ideal for clubs, groups and organisations.
    (Approx $71 | €62)

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Funding period

- (33 days)