Survival can be a challenging but rewarding journey. If you want to survive in the wilderness, you must learn and carry with you many things. A compass is an essential tool for any survivalist or hiker who wishes to estimate their position and travel long distances without getting lost. It’s also one of those tools that can save your life because it allows you to determine where other help might be, i.e., if someone were looking for you, they would know which direction to go. It is an investment worth making because it can prevent you from having a wasted search for help and wasting energy hiking back down the path that leads you into trouble in the first place. It is also helpful in everyday situations when you travel or walk in an unknown area and want to get your bearings on where things are located.

It can be used in cities and towns, but there aren’t any mountains to climb over or deep rivers with strong currents to cross. Even if you are familiar with the area, you will still want Best Compass for outdoor as a backup wherever you go off route. Whether hiking in it or visiting another country, no matter how well-acquainted you believe yourself to be with the region, it is always something worth having with you. It can save your life because it can help you get back on track without wasting too much energy. If you want to talk with other people while camping, the best walkie-talkie is one that can be used outside. A lot of times, we think that we will never get lost because we know the area. Some shopping suggestions that can help you get the best bargain.

Our top picks

01

Best OverAll Compass

Silva Expedition Type 4

Silva Expedition Type 4

Shop on Amazon

View Price ➤

02

Best Durable Compass

Suunto M-3

Suunto M-3

Shop on Amazon

View Price ➤

03

Best Waterproof Compass

Brunton Truarc 10

Brunton Truarc 10

Shop on Amazon

View Price ➤

Quick Shopping Tips:

Compass type: There are several kinds of compasses you can choose from depending on your needs. If you want a compass to navigate during the night, it would be best for you to purchase an illuminated one with luminescent markers, allowing for an accessible location under darkness. Some liquid-filled models help improve the accuracy of measurements by dampening any movement inside for increased stability.

Compass features: Some essential features to look out for when purchasing are declination adjustments and clinometers. A declination adjustment allows you to easily adjust your compass according to magnetic north (the direction corresponding to the geographical North Pole). To ensure accurate readings, make sure that even after changing, it is still pointed towards magnetic north, or else it will take you off course. A clinometer allows the user to measure angles and grades, i.e., going uphill or downhill.

Size and weight: It’s also important to consider the size and weight of your compass. Your best option is to choose a lightweight, compact, and sturdy model, so you don’t have any problems carrying it around with you for long periods or for extended traveling where space is limited.

Material: The compass you choose should be made of durable material so that it won’t get damaged if dropped accidentally. If the needle gets bent, it will cause inaccurate readings, so it is best to purchase a product with stainless steel needles.

The Best Compass for Survival, and Outdoor Adventures : First look

Silva Expedition Type 4

Silva Expedition Type 4

Best OverAll Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
Suunto M-3

Suunto M-3

Best Durable Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
Brunton Truarc 10

Brunton Truarc 10

Best Waterproof Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
Silva Ranger Compass

Silva Ranger Compass

Best Baseplate Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
TurnOnSport Orienteering

TurnOnSport Orienteering

Best Budget Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
Suunto MB-6G Global Compass

Suunto MB-6G Global Compass

Best Orienteering Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
Brunton TruArc 7 compass

Brunton TruArc 7 compass

Best Travel Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon
SUUNTO KB-14 COMPASS

SUUNTO KB-14 COMPASS

Best Value-Able Compass

Jump to details Shop on Amazon

The Best Compass for Survival, and Outdoor Adventures: In-depth Review

01

Best OverAll Compass

Silva Expedition Type 4

Weight

38g/1.34oz.

Dimensions

128 x 60mm / 5 x 2.4in.

Scales

1:25k, 1:40k, 1:50k.

PROS

+Magnifying Glass.

+Easy to read.

+Silicon Rubber Feet.

CONS

-Cheap lanyard.

-The bezel is not easiest to grip.

The Silva Expedition Type 4 Compass offers quality features reasonably priced. It can be adjusted according to magnetic north, essential in high accuracy readings. If you seek Best Compass for Survival that includes an adjustable declination scale, then look no further because this model allows the user to change it quite easily.

The hunter green color with black print makes it easy to read and quick to locate, so if you’re looking for the Best OverAll Compass for hiking that offers clear visibility day or night, this comes highly recommended by satisfied customers who have purchased it. It has quality construction with a strong clip and secure fastening of the lid. It is slim but sturdy, so you can carry it around unnoticeably without worrying about it getting damaged or broken. The luminous markers and arrows work well even under darkness, making them perfect for outdoor expeditions.

02

Best Durable Compass

Suunto M-3

Weight

50g/1.76oz.

Dimensions

61 x 120 x 14mm / 2.4 x 4.72 x 0.55in.

Scales

1:20k, 1:24k, 1:25k & 1:50k.

PROS

+Fast

+adjustable

+ultralight

CONS

-A fast grid refiner is not included in the Romer.

-1:40k scale distance markings are missing.

The Suunto M-3 is commonly used by military personnel, yet it’s also great for recreational pursuits. A clinometer allows the user to measure angles and grades caused by uphill or downhill travel, i.e., if you’re going up an incline, the needle will move towards the 90° mark on its scale. Conversely, it will read less than 90° on the other end of its ranking when going downhill.

It has two main dials for azimuth readings, one of which can be reset into zero degrees for more accurate and precise measurement of angles and directions. This Best Durable Compass is small and lightweight, so you can conveniently carry it in your pocket without any issues making it perfect if weight and bulkiness are a concern. It has a comfortable grip that ensures that your fingers won’t slip while using it, which helps prevent injuries to the user’s hand.

03

Best Waterproof Compass

Brunton Truarc 10

Weight

48g / 1.7oz.

Dimensions

132 x 71 x 13mm / 5.2 x 2.8 x 0.5in 5 x 2.4in.

Scales

1:24k, , 1:50k, 1:62.5k.

PROS

+Small and light.

+Metric and imperial scales.

+Accurate use anywhere in the world.

CONS

-No cardinal points on the bezel.

-No UTM grid tools on the base plate.

The Brunton Truarc 10 is built tough and made to last as it’s waterproof and can withstand substantial impacts that would render most compasses useless. It also comes with the ability to adjust the declination scale according to magnetic north if you’re seeking Best Waterproof Compass for Survival. It has a magnifying glass over the bezel to make the bezel marks easier to read.

It has one-degree azimuth ring markings, rare in compasses in this price range, and Romer scales on the baseplate. It has a slimline design that’s compact but sturdy enough for easy portability while weighing only 48g / 1.7oz so that it won’t add extra weight to your bag. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the outdoors because it’s light, rugged, waterproof, and does everything you need from a compass when traveling outdoors.

04

Best Baseplate Compass

Silva Ranger Compass

Weight

33g/1.16oz.

Dimensions

110 x 60mm / 4.3 x 2.4in.

Scales

1:25k, 1:50k.

PROS

+simple design is easy to use.

+Knurled handle.

+Waterproof.

CONS

-Very stiff bezel.

-Scale is not accurate.

The Silva Ranger is a sturdy and durable compass built to last. It doesn’t have a mirror, so if you need a good compass for hiking or camping, this is an excellent choice because it features all the essentials you would find in other high-quality compasses. It has black, non-glare bezels for maximum light transmittance and luminous points that glow in the dark to ensure visibility at night.

It has a non-locking lid, but this isn’t an issue as it stays firmly shut when closed. The arrow rotates smoothly and quite freely and is easy to read without overly heavy, requiring strength from the user. This 3 In 1 Compass can be used outdoors, hunting/fishing, boating, traveling, etc., just about anywhere and everywhere, making it one of the Best Baseplate Compass, which is perfect for everyone. It has a magnifying glass over the bezel so you can conveniently read its markings.

05

Best Budget Compass

TurnOnSport Orienteering

Weight

40g / 1.6 oz.

Dimensions

105 x 66mm / 4.1 x 2.6in.

Scales

1:24,000.

PROS

+360-degree rotating bezel.

+Design that is easier to use.

+Durable.

CONS

-Declination is not a factor.

-Flimsy lanyard.

The TurnOnSport Orienteering is the Best Compass, and it has a 1:25,000 scale that’s even more accurate than most other compasses at the same price point. It’s also built tough to withstand harsh conditions, which makes it great for hikers and campers who tend to put their gear through rigorous use. If you’re looking for Best Budget Compass, this is an excellent choice. It has two rotating scales, one of which can be rotated around the other axis to measure direction or bearing accurately and precisely.

You can reset its declination scale with magnets instead of using screws like most other compasses require, which makes this 3-in-1 quick and easy to adjust to ensure accuracy. It also has adjustable declination, a magnifying glass over the bezel for easier reading, and a special arrow that rotates smoothly. It’s reasonably priced and affordable, so is ideal for recreational use. It has an adjustable bezel ring so you can conveniently reset the markings to your desired location and is built tough and rugged enough to withstand substantial impacts. The lid has a magnifying glass over its base plate, making reading the scales easier.

06

Best Orienteering Compass

Suunto MB-6G Global Compass

Weight

2.9 oz.

Dimensions

78 x 113mm/ 3.1 x 4.4 in.

Scales

1:40,00.

PROS

CONS

07

Best Travel Compass

Brunton TruArc 7 compass

Weight

0.14 Pounds.

Dimensions

2.9 x 0.8 x 3.9 inches.

Scales

1:20,000.

PROS

+Global Needle.

+2 Degree resolution.

+Includes Clinometer.

CONS

-Terribly poor quality.

-Not holding true.

The Brunton TruArc 7 is a professional orienteering compass that’s built to be tough and rugged enough to withstand nearly anything you throw at it. It has a needle lock to protect from accidental activation as well as rubber armor for durability, which also helps to avoid any slippage or loss of grip during use, making it perfect for hikers, hunters, campers, etc., who tend to put their gear through harsh conditions and need something durable with them on the go.

It has an adjustable declination scale and a magnifying baseplate lens to make reading the scales easier. It has a unique sighting mirror built into the base of its bezel that allows you to take an accurate bearing with ease. It hones in on your destination extremely fast and is highly accurate even when you’re trying to measure up steep mountains or down sharp declines.

This makes it great for long-distance hiking, hunting, orienteering, etc., especially if you’re looking for something rugged that will last you a while. This Best Travel Compass has some of the best quality optical elements available right now, comparable with most other more expensive compasses but at a reasonable price that still produces results that are on par with high-end compasses without making deep holes in your pocket.

08

Best Value-Able Compass

SUUNTO KB-14 COMPASS

Weight

0.21 Kilograms.

Dimensions

5.16 x 3.62 x 1.65 inches.

Scales

1:24,000.

PROS

+Thoughtful design.

+ultra-durable materials.

+stable, and simple to use.

CONS

-slow at responding to movement.

-Declination direction wrong.

The SUUNTO KB-14 is a top-notch professional compass that’s built for durability and accuracy and packs some of the most advanced features you’ll find in most compasses. It has an adjustable declination scale and adjustable bezel rings to make reading the scales easier, smooth rotating needle plates, etc., making it great for camping, boating, skiing, kayaking, etc. It comes with pre-calibrated sapphire bearings, largely unaffected by magnetic interference. Hence, its readings remain very accurate even in environments where there’s lots of metal around or near you.

Even though this Best Compass is primarily designed to stand up to harsh conditions with strong impact resistance and protection against water damage up to 100 ft (30 m), it’s still surprisingly compact and lightweight, which makes it very comfortable to carry around. All these features make it the best value-able compass you can use in your camping.

Final Words

Whenever you’re out in nature, there’s little margin for getting lost, and the Best Compass will help you find your way back. They’re typically small, lightweight tools that you can use to determine your current location relative to specific points of reference on the map.

They’re built for convenience and ease-of-use with some even including sighting mirrors or sighting lines that help guide your bearings better without putting too much strain on your eyes. They also include scales on their bezels or dials, which allow you to measure variations in magnetic fields easily so you can more accurately pinpoint your position, however far away you are from known landmarks. These are great for hunters, campers, hikers, sailors, etc., as long as you know how to use them properly and have a map with you just in case.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most accurate compass?

The most accurate compass is one that doesn’t need a battery to work. Magnetic compasses, like the baseplate compass and standard needle compass, use a magnetized bar or needle to determine where you are relative to magnetic north. They’re generally very sensitive and can react quickly when you move them around or when there’s lots of metal near you (which would mess with the magnetic field). These are great for hunting, camping, hiking/trekking, boating, etc.

What is the best brand of a compass?

Suunto is considered to be one of the best brands of compasses, which are generally known for their durability and accuracy. You can get a high-end Suunto compass that’s great for hunting or camping or you can opt for their cheaper models. They have great shock resistance, are waterproof up to 330 ft (100 m), can be used underwater up to 50 ft (15 m), etc.

What compass do Army Rangers use?

Army Rangers use the Suunto KB-14, which is a great professional compass that’s built for durability and accuracy. It has some of the most advanced features you’ll find in most compasses but at a reasonable price point compared to high-end models without making too deep a dent in your pocket. These are great for hunting, camping, boating, skiing, kayaking/kayak fishing, etc.

What brand compass does the military use?

Milspec compasses are considered to be high-quality and durable. They’re made with the utmost precision and built to handle all outdoor conditions, which are tested to ensure they’re reliable, accurate, durable, etc. They’re also known as military compasses or GI compasses and are built as per MIL-C-10436B. You can’t go wrong with a Milspec compass if you’re looking for the value-able Compass.