How complex of a geologic compass do people recommend? What type of equal area stereonet should we use?
Don't buy a geologic compass until before Nationals (for you, maybe State). The chances of it showing up at any tournament other than Nationals are very close to zero. Past Nationals questions involving the geologic compass only used it for a dip measurement, as far as I can remember.
I printed my stereonet off of the internet, although I was really bad at stereonets when I competed.
In case I've misinterpreted the second question (and for the benefit of others who may not know), the intended stereonet is the Lambert equal-area projection - for example, this stereonet
@Compass: Or try to contact a university? They might be far, but it can be an easier way to get a hold of one. They can also be incredibly expensive. You could also just use a regular basic compass (like http://www.libertymountain.com/SupplyIm ... 40x340.jpg
), and try problems out with it as if it were the real deal (which should be fine if they just want you to measure strike and dip?).
Printing stereonets off the internet is fine! What Unome said is correct, but I'll add that it might help to have one that has the numbers, etc labeled (EX: http://www.yasareren.net/yasareren/ders ... reonet.jpg
). Do search around, though.
Other things you'll need: See through paper (you can get tracing paper from art stores or online). Everyday paper is usually only semi see through or completely opaque. Whatever works, though, I've heard some use parchment paper (though, I liked the tracing paper when I did it...). You also want to get thumbtacks/pins with a flat bottom, like https://www.amazon.com/BAZIC-Brass-Thum ... B00KGDETJO
but maybe could find a cheaper option.