Odds & Ends

Where Am I? The 7 Best Compass Options for Outdoor Orienteering

Tsumbay multi-functional compass
Image courtesy of Amazon
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* Great for hiking
* Essential for outdoor and maritime emergency kits
* High quality, durable compasses with multifunctional capabilities

These days we’ve come to take GPS-based location systems for granted, especially those of us used to the geotagging functions of apps like Instagram, Yelp and Apple Maps. But long before smartphones or the first NAVSTAR satellite was launched in 1978, we humans have needed to know where we are and where we’re going. This is where the good ol’ magnetic compass comes in.

While it may be a little under appreciated by city slickers today, this ancient tool, first mentioned in the geographical writings of Wang Xu over 2000 years ago, is as fascinating as it is useful. And unlike your smartphone’s GPS, a compass will work no matter how far outside or your coverage area you roam. And it will never run out of power. So if you’re going camping, sailing or even just going on a long hike, it pays to take a compass along as part of your safety and emergency kit.

1. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military-style Compass

The Eyeskey Multifunctional Military style Compass is a rugged and durable sighting compass that features a glow-in-the-dark binnacle so you can read your bearings at night, too.

Eyeskey Multifunctional Military style Compass Image courtesy of Amazon

  

2. Eyeskey Camo Pattern Metal Compass

This waterproof compass comes with a useful pouch and its metal frame is finished in a handsome, rugged square camo pattern. It features markings in customary as well as metric units.

Eyeskey Cammo compass Image courtesy of Amazon

  

3. Tsumbay Multipurpose Compass with Hygrometer

Designed for outdoor and wilderness activities and adventuring, this multipurpose compass comes with a thermometer and hygrometer, as well as an emergency fire-starter kit. It also includes a pocket knife, mini signaling mirror, level and ruler.

 

Tsumaby Multi-Functional Compass Image courtesy of Amazon

  

4. Two Piece Pocket Watch Compass

Handsomely finished, this two-piece pocket watch-style compass has a 360-degree rotating bezel and is finished in polished stainless steel.

panovo survival compass Image courtesy of Amazon

  

5. Ueasy Professional Sighting Compass

The Ueasy professional sighting compass is a shake proof and rugged folding compass that comes with a lanyard and a luminous display for easy viewing at night and in bad weather.

Ueasy professional compass Image courtesy of Amazon

  

6. Banne Waterproof Compass

The Banne compass is designed for use in all kinds of terrain and holds up well to inclement weather. Useful extras include a built-in bubble level for more accurate sighting.

Banne Metal Compass Image courtesy of Amazon

  

7. Suunto Compact Mirrored Compass

This gorgeous compact mirrored compass allows you to take highly accurate bearings. Thanks to its global needle and fixed declination system, it resists local magnetic interference. A built-in magnifying glass base makes it easier to read as well.

Suunto MC-2 Mirrored Compass Image courtesy of Amazon

If you’re starting a new adventure and just getting into getting out more, or if you’re introducing others to the old school thrills of orienteering and navigating in the wilds, Bjorn Kjellstrom’s classic “Be an Expert With Map and Compass” in an involving and easy read, and a great intro to finding your way. So, even if you haven’t quite “found your path,” in the metaphorical sense, this book and a sturdy compass will at least help you find your literal path.

Be Expert with Map and Compass Image courtesy of Amazon

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