Best Wilderness Navigation Compass

Maria Johnson
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 12 min read

Most people don’t give much thought to getting lost these days, mostly because they can simply punch up their GPS powered location at any time on their smartphone. These are all affordable, easy to use devices that could wind up saving your skin some day when the chips are down.

navigation wilderness compass map
(Source: nhoutdoorlearning.com)


Set it up on a tripod using the screw hole in the base and get pinpoint readings every time. With a metal body that’s both impact resistant and waterproof and a lightweight, compact design the Eye sky Multifunction walking compass won’t get in the way or quit on you when the going gets tough.

Everything from the bubble level to the glow in the dark capabilities to the rotating bezel and conversion charts are designed to allow you to obtain information quickly and accurately. This reliable global compass is designed to readily take on the challenge of providing accurate directional measurements.

The luminous bezel also ensures that the compass stays visible even at nighttime with additional markings for convenient viewing. To crown it all, there’s a reliable fixed declination adjustment that takes away the confusion of locating your backcountry via a system that fares well even in the vastest of places.

Traveling heavy can be overrated, especially when going on special operations, camping trips, hunting, and other thrilling adventures. It’s a great beginner’s tool for novices to master the art of basic geography and clean up their navigation skills.

The compass is accompanied by a green baseplate, a magnifying glass as well as a ruler and scales for topographic map reading. This high precision compass will definitely be useful for a wide range of outdoor operations and is a crucial necessity to carry along during trips to places without network coverage.

declination compass
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Always find a way out with this top quality, compact navigation device with a fluid housing that provides accurate readings. To enjoy the benefits of a reliable and compact compass for both beginners and professionals, this navigation tool is definitely recommended.

When traveling out of the comforts of your hometown, basic luxuries such as network coverage and built-in car navigation systems are sacrificed. The Unto M-3nh Leader Compass is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the palms with an easy-to-read feature via a highly visible directional arrow.

The adjustable inclination ensures that whenever your local declination is imputed, the bearings still automatically locate the true North. All the pointers work expertly in a liquid dampened housing that allows the well-placed needle to settle on the North after adjustments.

This good quality compass has an adjustable adopter lens that will show you the way forward once you’ve determined your path, a rotating bezel ring that makes it easy to stay your course and a built-in level. The military has used the lunatic compass for decades as a way to ensure soldiers are able to obtain the most precise readings possible.

Fluorescent Thermos elastic liquid filled capsule for nighttime navigation This liquid filled, snap open device hangs easily off your belt or your backpack.

compass wilderness survival map navigate geekprepper
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

This is an accurate compass that will provide anyone who’s able to interpret basic navigational information a means by which to extricate themselves from the wild as quickly and safely as possible. It’s light, tough and provides basic navigational information quickly, so you can stay on course to rendezvous with your buddies or your rescuers.

The operational features like the clip mechanism, the rotating bezel and luminous directional indicator are useful and reliable and the unit is available at a very reasonable cost. The Camera Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lunatic Compass is a durable, effective piece of survival kit that makes this type of hands on navigation not just simple but fun.

You may never lean on your smartphone GPS again on one of your outdoor adventures because you’ll enjoy finding your own way with the Camera. This is a good quality compass, has been rigorously battle tested and is every bit as tough as it is practical and affordable.

This is an accurate compass developed for the military that has seen untold hours in the field and been refined dozens of times over many years. The hard aluminum casing will take a pounding and the fact that it’s waterproof means you don’t have to fear the rain or snow.

The base is extended far beyond what you’ll see with other, similar compasses and the various measurement scales in play are all clearly delineated and will offer accurate, useful interaction with your topographic maps. As a result you’ll be able to plan precise routes and extricate yourself from difficult situations in a timely fashion.

navigation wilderness compass map
(Source: nhoutdoorlearning.com)

When the battery dies and the GPS goes with it you’ll never really be lost as long as you have the Silva 515 Deluxe Map Compass in your bag. When you get used to the lunatic sighting system you’ll be amazed at how easy it makes accurate navigation and how much fun it can be to work with.

The standard and metric scales on the side, the built-in bubble level and the ability to fix the device to a tripod all aid in the gathering of accurate information which you can plot on your map to find your way to safety. The Brenton Truancy 3 is a basic hiking compass that’s received a few modern tweaks to enhance performance.

It includes the time tested Truancy Global Needle system and true, accurate, declination compensation, so you know the information you’re receiving is trustworthy and actionable. The Brenton Truancy 3 offers you a sound alternative to battery based locator systems.

That said, as long as you treat the device with respect it will provide you all the information you need to arrive at your rendezvous safe and sound. Having a lightweight, handheld compass as backup has the potential to save your life.

Stunt also offers other models if the MC-2 doesn’t have the exact features you are looking for, one of which is the A-10 discussed below. Founded in 1933 and based in Sweden, the company’s founders (three brothers) invented the first ever liquid filled compass.

compass android iphone smart apps
(Source: applications.androidxiphone.com)

If you are looking for the best resource for learning how to navigate the wilderness, then Essential WildernessNavigation is the book for you. This book is not specific to only compasses but also covers how you can find your way around with whatever tools you have at your disposal.

The hard copy even includes a full size fold out map for you to practice with. The skills and the way the material is presented are excellent and easy to learn from.

The book WildernessNavigation is another great choice for learning how to use a compass in the wild. This book is another great resource that presents the topics in an easy to learn way.

It is an excellent choice for beginners and teaches practical, usable skills. These are lines that look similar to those found on a typical measuring ruler.

A compass is a navigation tool that has a magnetic needle which points towards the north pole. The main advantages of compasses are that they are lightweight, they don’t require batteries, and they are inexpensive compared to a handheld GPS.

compass wilderness use survival
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Even if you use a GPS as your primary method of navigation, it doesn’t add much weight to your pack to carry a simple handheld compass as backup. This video made by Silva gives a very quick rough overview of how to use a compass with a map.

A clinometer is a feature on some compasses which is used to measure things like slope and elevation. In a world where technology is increasingly taking over our everyday lives, there may come a point where compasses are an antiquated relic of human history.

Let’s take a look at the top-rated hiking compasses, and then we’ll talk about choosing one for you in our guide below. Stunt’s new global compass needle has been modified to maintain a higher degree of accuracy from anywhere in the world.

With advanced features like a sighting mirror, multiple rulers, and a wrist locking lanyard you’ll be able to navigate with accuracy in any conditions. Sighting holes like the one on this compass are a game changer for accurate and reliable navigation in all conditions.

I love the high visibility bezel for reading and adjustment in any lighting condition. This is a mirrored sighting compass for extreme accuracy and would be a perfect pick for those planning to do lots of off-trail navigation, orienteering, or adventure racing.

multi wilderness map compass function survival scale compasses
(Source: www.livesak.com)

With an in clinometer, magnifying glass, and multiple navigational scales for map reading and measuring you’ll be able to take this compass all the way from beginner to expert tasks and is the best compass for survival in the backcountry. One of the most important features for accurate navigation on any compass is an adjustable declination which Brenton delivers on the Truancy 3.

With a bare minimum of features, the A10 compass delivers clear baseplate, declination adjustment, and black and white bezel. This means you’ll have a lighter and more compact compass with robust features and slightly less accuracy overall.

You’ll get the same gradient 2-degree bezel and high visibility navigation ring along with the magnifying glass for map reading. Again, you’ll have to adjust declination with the built-in screwdriver but that comes with its own set of drawbacks and convenience.

With plenty of features to accurately navigate for the novice or expert, this compass would be a great middle-ground choice for general backpacking where accuracy is important. The Silva Explorer Pro may the best survival compass with its Hives color 4X luminous dial for navigating in low light conditions.

We’ve already talked briefly about some potentially valuable benefits of choosing to use a compass over other devices for navigation. Let’s dive in briefly to several great reasons many people choose a compass companion.

land navigation grid survival map true magazine reading lost shtf series info survivalmagazine compass prepper homesteading dedicated articles way tools
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Sometimes that in a survival kit, the car trunk, or on the dash of a boat for navigation when the “lights go out”. You can help prevent that with a solar charger, they can charge up those electronics as long as there is sunlight.

Adventure races can vary in duration from a few hours to several days when participants must use combinations of running, backpacking, paddling, mountain biking, and other outdoor skills to navigate to and find hidden waypoints. Orienteering, while a skill involved in adventure racing, can also be participated in as a separate activity.

Every year rescue operations are carried out in seemingly avoidable situations where hikers have gotten lost only to find out that they were mere miles from an easy escape. Understanding how to orient the map to your surroundings, recognize landmarks, and navigate using simple terrain features will provide a huge boost for your safety (and ego).

Almost invariably, they have clear acrylic baseplates so that maps can be viewed and read through the compass. By adding fluid inside the needle chamber, the compasses are buffered from movement and vibrations.

Using fluid helps to dampen the swing of the compass and temper erratic movement when navigating. With clear baseplates, they’re meant to navigate with topographic maps, often featuring rulers, declination scales, sighting mirrors, and clinometers.

(Source: survivalgearguide.com)

Well, just to make sure you’re set off on the correct path we’re going to talk through a few more key points with compasses use and maintenance. One of the best ways to become an advanced compass user is to participate in a sport called orienteering.

This sport forces you to use a map and compass to navigate to hidden locations in the fastest time possible. Remember that your compass is meant to work outdoors and may also be disrupted or inaccurate in vehicles or buildings.

Well… there are a couple ways but in general just managing your gear in the field with a little more intentional care is a good place to start. To be totally honest, I will usually skip the compass if I’m on a short hike with cell phone reception in a local area I know.

For simple afternoon hikes at the local park with the kids, a small pocket compass is probably all you need for backup at most. When the poop hits the fan that compass, and your mastery of it, can mean life or death.

People want to know if their compass is inaccurate because of their car, cell phone, magnetic rocks, or magical aliens. One of the biggest problems to watch out for in the field is compass accuracy around power lines.

compass expedition silva
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Barring that, a fluid filled compass with a good, long baseplate will get you close enough. In order to accurately triangulate your position you need three (or more) visible and discernible topographic features within sight line.

Usually this only happens on open mountain balds or aggressive terrain where you can see a long distance. I always bring a GPS as backup because it’s cheap insurance for not dying scared, alone, and starving in the woods if you read the map wrong.

You could also learn a lot by reading through a good book with a map and compass in hand. There are tons of book options out there, but I can personally vouch for the VOLS WildernessNavigation manual written by my friend Darren Wells.

After you’ve given it a read, or consecutively, you can learn a lot by watching some how-to videos on YouTube and following along with your own map and compass. You’ll learn a lot by doing it in the field and these short adventure races are a great way to test yourself.

Learning to read a map and compass and navigate properly will instill a sense of self-reliance and skill that you won’t get from following the arrow on a GPS. For any hiker, backpacker, or survivalist, a command of map and compass skill is critical to growth.

tent outdoor rei adventures inside company
(Source: denvertent.com)

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