The compass is equipped by pressing right-mouse, which will show your watch and compass. It may be out of sight below your screen (especially on default FOV ), so you may need to glance down. Having to choose between looking at tools , and being able to see your surroundings is a common theme in Misamata, increasing the feeling of suspense and unease in the player.
The compass needle swings sluggisly to magnetic north (realisitcally) , so you may need to hold it out for a few moments to obtain an accurate reading.
Due the background lighting from the lighter, it is quite possible to navigate at night using the compass. Due to a bug , holding a torch at night time does not produce any light when looking at the journal , map , watch or compass. This means that only natural light, e.g. moonlight can be used to read them, dramatically increasing difficulty.