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Military Grade Compass

Howdy gents!

I've been in the mindset of putting together a hiking/survival pack. I have pretty much everything I thought I would need and realized I dont have a compass.

I've been searching around for something waterproof, temp resistant and has the more complex tools. Also hoping not to break the bank.

Anyone have one they really like and have found reliable?

Thanks!
 
A compass seems so quaint nowadays. Remember paper charts and maps? However, advanced technology can fail.

Silva is a good brand, but nobody mentioned Suunto? I have a Suunto I got years ago for backpacking. It has the mirror sight, magnifier base plate and luminous markings. Totally happy with it.
 
In my opinion, Silva compasses aren't really what they used to be. Since the company was sold and all compass production was moved to Suzhou in China, the quality isn't nearly as good. If you're looking for an inexpensive compass, I think it's hard to beat a Suunto now. They're still made in Finland, and the quality is very high.

If you're looking for a lensatic sighting compass, it's difficult to do better than a Cammenga US-made compass. Cammenga makes the official compass for the US military. Although they are a little bit expensive now, they are still very high quality.
 

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Spend the money on a Cammenga with tritium. If a couple years old, they're cheaper as tritium fades after 10 years or so.

Silvas and Suuntos are also good of course. Avoid um, cheap ones.

Recommend read: Finding Your Way with Map and Compass.


AA
 
Cammenga lensatic compass. I’ve never used anything but lensatic/engineer compasses, so I can’t comment on any other brands. Be prepared to pay about $100 for a tritium model. There’s one that’s decent, uses luminescent paint instead of tritium, for about $60. Anything less than that isn’t worth buying in my experience, at least as far as engineer compasses go. I don’t know anything about orienteering compasses.
 
Cammenga lensatic compass. I’ve never used anything but lensatic/engineer compasses, so I can’t comment on any other brands. Be prepared to pay about $100 for a tritium model. There’s one that’s decent, uses luminescent paint instead of tritium, for about $60. Anything less than that isn’t worth buying in my experience, at least as far as engineer compasses go. I don’t know anything about orienteering compasses.
...this one our Army's 'standard' (issue), compass (we used to have saying in the Army..."Chsuuhh...Lost One to Lost Three,,,are you Lost Two [too]"?), that has served on battle fields all over the world)! Army Radio.jpg

"I always have a sense of [destiny], but so does a compass, after all". Jerzy Kosiński
 
I'm a bit late to comment on this one, but for a survival pack my recommendation would be a decent button compass or a very basic Silva/Recta/Suunto model. Usually in emergency situations you won't need to do precision navigation, and why carry around something needlessly complicated, heavy and expensive if you won't need it?
I have a little keyring thermometer/compass made by a Swiss firm called Recta attached to my rucksack hipbelt strap and it's taken a lot of punishment without breaking over the course of 10 years or so. I actually refer to it quite a lot, in a "am I heading in the right direction or 180 degrees the wrong way" fashion. It cost a fair bit for what it is, but is of excellent quality and was much less than a good mirror sighting compass.
 
I feel that a military grade compass may be overboard for your needs unless you have been specifically trained in land navigation. I was trained in land navigation in the Australian Army. Later I was trained in coastal and celestial navigation in the RAN. It was only after fully comprehending celestial navigation that I understood all the benefits of a good compass in land navigation.
 
I've been carrying a Silva Ranger Compass for almost forty years. The mirror can be used for reflecting in case of survival, and if something gets in your eye, you have the ability to see it. The compass is folding, sturdy, reliable and has been bulletproof all these years.
 
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