A sturdy, heavy-duty compass is an essential part of any given survival kit. When it comes to adventure, the ‘what ifs’ are just too many. What if you have to find your way without a GPS – is one of them.
While you can easily find a random compass off any store, will it work as effectively as it should? In emergencies, you don’t really want to be staring at a compass that just doesn’t work. And that’s why you need to add an exceptional quality compass to your survival kit right away.
With so many options available out there, it can get a tad bit difficult to zero into the best compass for survival. But with us to help you out, you have no reason to worry! After extensive research, we have compiled a list of the best survival compass – read through this list of the technologically advanced compass before you select the best one to meet your requirements!
Top 15 Best Survival Compass 2021
This versatile compass from the SE Store is great for scouting, camping, hiking, training, or anything else you would require it for. It features a fluorescent design, along with a thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule, which ensures that you can find your way even in pitch darkness.
The compass also has sighting lines on the cover as well as a conversion chart for angle, gradient, and distance on the backplate to deliver just the accuracy you’d expect from a compass. With its heavy-duty digital camouflage printed cover, the compass not only looks pretty cool but is also sturdy enough. It also comes with a water-resistant nylon pouch, which ensures your compass is safe through the toughest of all situations.
- Precise and accurate
- Easy to use
- Sturdy and waterproof
- Fluorescent design for night navigation
- You may end up with a defective piece
This professional-grade military compass delivers the required precision you need on your outdoor expeditions. The build, design, and structure of this compass make it apt for camping, military usage as well as any type of emergencies you may find yourself in.
The ergonomic design of the lens and the lensatic function increases the accuracy of the reading. Additionally, you have a lens on the rear side, which instantly magnifies the card dial – so you always have a magnified version of the readings. Super tough and tenacious, the compass is water-proof and shake-proof and has all the properties to survive even the harshest of all adventure.
Despite its features, the compass comes in a lightweight, portable body – such that you will barely feel its weight in your backpack. The compass’s interface glows in the dark, making it suitable for navigating through the dark too. This compass has impressive attributes and still comes at a pocket-friendly price, making it one of the best compass for survival.
- Ergonomic design
- You may receive a defective piece
With an acrylic baseplate, azimuth bearing, and a 360-degree rotating bezel, this compass stands out for its super-sleek and unique design. Not only does the design of this compass stand out, but it is also known for its easily understandable layout too.
Durable and lightweight, the compass can be easily carried by kids for their hikes, camps, and treks. The handheld compass features a magnetized needle, which is made by vacuum technology and filled with liquid oil. This further adds to the accuracy of the readings the compass delivers.
If you’re looking for a survival compass for your kids, this is definitely one of the best survival compass you could find out there.
- Easy to use
- suitable for kids
- Super-sleek and portable
- The product does not come with usage instructions
This durable military metal compass is known for its durability as well as high accuracy. Thanks to its rigid construction, the compass works amazingly well in all weather conditions. It has a unique design – with a luminous magnet arrow and dial, aiming line, and magnifier viewer, you can never go wrong with the reading data off this compass.
The AOFAR military compass is not only compact and light in weight but also has a black lanyard using which you can easily hang the compass to your leather belt, backpack, or pocket. It also flaunts a floating compass dial with a 360-degree scale along with an adjustable prism lens. The model is tough, waterproof, and shake-proof, making it well-suited for all types of outdoor as well as adventure activities.
- Tough and sturdy
- Unique design
- Portable and lightweight
- The font on the instructions leaflet is too small and not readable
With an in-built clinometer, this compass makes it easy to measure any angle of slope, elevation levels, or even avalanche hazards. This makes this product from the Eyeskey Store perfect for mountain climbing, backcountry skiing, or hiking steep slopes.
Easy to handle and read, this liquid-filled compass comes with an integrated bubble level, which ensures accurate readings. Adding to the quick performance are the luminous dial, adjustable luminous marching line, thumb hold, and magnifying viewer – each of these features ensure you get a fast and easy read.
The rugged, waterproof body of the compass is made of aluminum alloy, giving the compass the ability to withstand the toughest of all situations.
- Easy to use
- Luminous dial
- Strong and tough design
- Heavy and bulky
This compass features a 360-degrees scale with a liquid-filled capsule for stable operation and accurate performance. It has a level bubble, which further adds to the accuracy delivered by the compass. The glow-in-the-dark dial of the compass makes it perfect for night navigation, allowing you to comfortably and effectively use it in pitch darkness too.
For easy access to required information such as the conversion of angles, gradient, and distance, you have the conversion chart right at the back of the compass. The base and cover of the compass are built with metal, making it suitable for motoring, boating, exploring, mountaineering, hunting as well as loads of other outdoor activities.
Thanks to its design, taking bearings is very easy with this compass – you can take directions from you to the objects or take reverse bearings from the objects to you with great ease.
- Fantastic design
- Suitable for multiple purposes
- Glow-in-the-dark dial
- Not suitable for beginners
- No clear usage instructions
Made of high-strength engineering metal, this compass is popular for its sturdy built and durability. The luminous magnet arrow and compass card allow you to read data accurately even in darkness, making the compass well-suited for all types of timings and climatic conditions. This is a traditional military-style compass and comes with a compact metal case for maximum portability.
The built-in bubble level of the compass greatly enhances its accuracy, leaving no scope for errors at all. The IP 54 waterproof grade construction of the compass ensures it works well under extreme weather conditions too. All the features of the compass make it perfect for hiking, navigation, camping, hunting, geology, and other outdoor activities.
- High accuracy
- Sturdy Construction
- Waterproof and Shakeproof
- You may end up with a defective piece
With a thermoelastic liquid-filled capsule and its true-sighting optic, the AOFAR Military compass gives you a direct read of the internal compass card. The thumb-hold and magnifying viewer of the compass add to the accuracy and precision delivered by the compass.
Made with durable material, the compass is waterproof as well as shake-proof, allowing it to withstand even the harshest conditions you carry it along in. The compass comes with an in-built clinometer, which easily allows you to measure heights and slopes without the need for additional equipment.
The structure, design, and functionality of this compass make it perfect for adventure positioning, mapping, camping, and hiking. It comes with a detailed manual so that you can read through the institutions and understand how to use the compass without any hassles. This product checks off all the right boxes, easily making it one of the best survival compass out there.
- Waterproof and shake-proof
- In-built clinometer
- Issues with the bubble for leveling
This compass gives you the liberty to read data directly, with the Vertical Lubber line contributing to the enhancement of the accuracy delivered. Thanks to the luminous design, you can easily use the compass to find out your way, even in the dark. Made of high strength engineering grade material, this compass is durable, sturdy, and capable of working effectively even in the most inclement conditions.
The compass features an in-built clinometer, helping you measure height and slopes effectively, with accurate precision. The foldable metal lit makes the compass super compact, adding to its portability. The features of the compass make it suitable for camping, boating, climbing, exploring, hunting, geology, and a whole range of other outdoor activities.
- Equipped with clinometer
- Strong built
- Suitable for various applications
- You may end up with a faulty piece
Equipped with a magnifying glass and compass ruler, this backpacking compass is perfect for cartographic map navigation and reading. If you’re a beginner, this is a great choice to start with. The easily understandable layout of this compass makes it extremely popular among kids too.
The compass is waterproof and has a strong construction, allowing you to use it in a variety of outdoor activities without worrying about damages in case of mishaps. The compass features fine detailing, making it super easy to read.
- Easy readability
- Suitable for kids and adults
- Seasoned adventurers may find the compass childish and cheap.
This compass from the TurnOnSport Store has just the right features you would look for in a perfect compass. With a global needle, adjustable declination, and mirror sighting, the compass offers accurate data and easy readability.
Made of high-quality material, the compass is rigid and can sustain inclement weather conditions too. You need to worry if you accidentally drop the compass, as it has a super-strong build. You can easily use the compass for hunting, hiking, geology expeditions, and a lot more.
The perfect companion for all types of outdoor activities, you should definitely consider adding this compass to your survival kit. Known for its design and easy usability, this compass is easily one of the best survival compass in the market.
- Adjustable features
- Accurate readings
- Suitable for all ages
- You may end up with a defective piece
This multi-function military-grade compass consists of a metal body as well as foldable metal lit. Not only does this make the compass durable, but it also makes it extremely compact and portable. It features a floating Azimuth Compass dial with a 360-degree scale, along with an adjustable Prism Lensatic and sighting lines.
This military surplus compass interface glows in the dark, making it perfect for night navigation too. You can safely keep the compass in the waterproof pouch to keep it protected when not in use. The tough and accurate features of this compass make it a perfect choice for field trips, expeditions, and other outdoor adventurous activities.
- Made of military-grade tough material
- Glow in the dark interface
- Equipped with a waterproof pouch
- Complicated for beginners
The compass features a built-in clinometer, which easily allows you to measure the angle of slope, elevation, and avalanche hazards as well. Known to deliver accurate readings, the compass performs exceptionally well every single time you use it. It flaunts a glow-in-the-dark dial, which allows you to navigate well, even through the darkness.
Despite all the features it is loaded with, the compass comes in a surprisingly compact, lightweight body. This simply adds to the portability of the compass, making it easy to carry along anywhere and everywhere.
Built to last, this military-grade compass can effectively handle a wide range of outdoor tasks such as directional navigation, positioning identification, slope measurement, azimuth gauging, and a lot more. If you are looking for a multifunctional compass, this one is definitely one of the best survival compass in this range.
- Multi-functional compass
- You may end up with a defective piece
Featuring a detachable lanyard, this compass is popular for its compact form. The lanyard is soft and bendable, with accurate scales as well as a sighting mirror, which will keep you on track irrespective of time or weather conditions during your expedition.
The compass also features a magnifier, which allows you to read the map in greater detail. The luminous markings make the compass well-suited for night reading, helping you stay on track even in the dark.
- Luminous markings
- Soft and bendable body
- Compact and portable
- Difficult for beginners to use
The compass is see-through and has a light-weight plastic base, making it perfect for reading directions on the map. It comes with a magnifier and a large bright dial, further enhancing its readability. It also features a measuring device in both inches and millimeters, making it easy to refer to the map during navigation.
The compass is suitable for most indoor activities like maintenance as well as outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, map reading, and hiking.
- Suitable for indoor as well as outdoor activities
- Large, bright dial
- Easy and accurate readability
- Doesn’t come with usage instructions
Factors To Consider While Buying Best Survival Compass
1. Type Of Compass
There are different types of compass, such as button, orienteering/baseplate, and military/lensatic. You need to ensure you pick a compass as per your requirements only. While transparent baseplate compasses are popular and widely used, the buttons are underpowered, and the military compasses are overpowered. The best choice is a clear baseplate compass, which will not only meet your indoor but outdoor requirements as well.
2. Global Use
You need to choose a global use compass, depending on where you are traveling. If you are traveling to the Southern hemisphere, getting yourself a global use compass makes complete sense. The reason being, the earth’s magnetic field pulls on a compass needle depending on where you are on the globe.
A compass balanced in South America will find that the magnetic field in North America causes the compass needle to tilt into the compass housing. This makes the compass unusable. This type of tilting does not happen in a global compass, which is designed to handle a tilt up to 20 degrees.
It is always advisable to invest in a compass that features an in-built clinometer. Although this is not a feature you would require to use often, having a clinometer in your compass is great, especially in times when you need to use it. A clinometer is generally used to measure the angle of a slope, but with some basic calculations, you can also determine the height of a given object.
4. Accuracy Of The Compass
You surely don’t want to be staring down at an inaccurate compass when your GPS no longer works. It is best to test the compass using the GPS compass or a smartphone as a testing tool. You can easily determine where the magnetic north is and check if your compass points in the same direction as well.
Whenever you buy a compass, make sure you check it well before investing in it. Similarly, it is also advisable to check your compass well before you carry it along for any field trip.
5. Glow-In-The-Dark Dial
A compass with luminous markings has a huge advantage, as it will help you navigate well, even through the darkness. A whole lot of outdoor activities call for night navigation, and having a compass with luminous markings is just what you need to make sure you can find your way without any hassles. The luminous markings have to be charged to ensure proper functioning.
If you have used the compass in broad daylight, you don’t really need to worry about the charging, as the markings would have got recharged as you walked through the sunlight.
6. Rotating Bezel
For accurate navigation, merely acquiring a bearing from the map is not enough – instead, you need to dial that bearing into your compass and be able to walk along with it. This is why you require a rotating bezel in your compass, with degrees of a circle and cardinal directions engraved into it.
It let you quickly and accurately determine and dial in bearings from your map into the compass so that you can easily travel to your destination.
7. Size And Weight
Rugged, heavy-duty compasses look great, but is it worth carrying a heavy compass in your already bulky backpack? No. Unless you really require a heavy-duty military survival compass, it is best you opt for a compact, lightweight compass. Opting for a lighter compass doesn’t mean you need to compromise on the quality – you can still find compasses that are lesser in weight and work just as effectively as the heavier ones.
So that you can carry along the compass everywhere and anywhere, you want to! If you are in survival environments, there is a possibility that you may be exposed to a variety of weather and climatic changes. To make sure you are adept in all types of situations, carrying a waterproof compass makes complete sense.
If you find yourself in a situation where your only hope is the compass, it is important that you have a reliable compass. One that will always show accurate data and guide you through the trickiest of all situations. You don’t really want a misguiding, unreliable compass in such situations – that’s why, even if it costs you a bit more, make sure you have a proper compass with you at all times.
Best Survival Compass – Conclusion
Having a compass in your survival kit is essential, as you cannot rely entirely on electronic GPS devices, which may run out of charge. Compasses these days are no longer devices pointing to the north; they are equipped with a lot more features to make sure you can find your way out even through the harshest conditions.
Choosing a compass is a task, but we hope with the best survival compass list we have compiled, you will now be able to make a better, informed decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why Do I Need A Compass?
Most of the other devices you usually opt for navigation are battery operated and may run out of charge. While you may have set out for a half-day hike, you never know when your short hike would get converted into a long one. Losing your way and then ending up with uncharged devices is not what you want when you have set out on an adventure.
Hence, whether you use it or not, it is advisable to carry a compass in your survival kit wherever you go.
Q2. How Should I Use A Compass?
Most compasses come with user manuals, which are simple and easy to understand. However, if you don’t have a user manual or are facing difficulty understanding one, you can always look up the internet for videos, where they practically teach you how to use a compass.
Q3. Are There Kid-friendly Compasses Available?
Yes, quite a few brands have come up with kid-friendly compasses so that you introduce your little ones to the world of navigation early on itself. For kids, you can begin with basic models and gradually opt for the advanced models. Navigation using a compass is an essential skill, and it is best to start teaching your kids as early as you can.