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The Best Survival Compass You Need [with 2020 Buying Guide]

The fact that you are here proves your interest in hiking and camping and everything adventurous.

So what if they do not belong to the military forces or not a Hollywood persona? Survival compass should be owned by each and everyone who has a flair for hiking through the jungle-clad mountains, camping in the hills, swimming in the deepest waters, and crossing the world’s largest desert.

Enough of Hollywood, let’s get to some work. This article will provide you with a list of the best compasses so that when you embark on your next adventurous mission, you have with yourself, the best survival compass!

1. Eyeskey Multifunction Military Tactical Compass

It gives accurate measurement with the optical reading of the card, plus it is thermo-elastic and liquid-filled with a floating dial and has a strong and durable outer casing for rough use. It has passed the test of time and has proved itself as the best survival compass in extreme environments.

Opting for this survival compass will let you have a waterproof and shockproof compass for your all kinds of rough use. It is top-notch with its easy and accurate readings, plus its users recommend for its abilities to take bearings easily, allowing for clear reading at night and a rotating bezel ring that lets you lock in your bearing so you know you are moving towards the right direction.

Specific Features

  • Weight – 192.6g / 6.79oz.
  • Size – Mini
  • Colour – Green Compass 
  • Material – Aluminium 
  • Glass Material – Acrylic 
  • Shell and Dial Material – Zinc Alloy
  • ASIN – B00QR3LOO0
  • Needle – Card 

Pros:

➞   It is waterproof and shockproof.
➞   It is fluorescent and provides clear reading in the dark.
➞   It is durable and operates in a wide range of temperatures.
➞   It gives accurate readings because of the level bubble.
➞   Its liquid-filled sapphire bearing makes the needle move freely and prevents it from twitching; thereby the speed and stability are not affected.

Cons:

➞   Its small size might sometimes affect the visibility of accurate readings.

2. SE Military Lensatic and Prismatic Sighting Survival Emergency Compass

Imagine being lost in a jungle with a GPS and a smartphone that are out of either battery or signal and sometimes, even both. Let’s get back to old-school compasses.

This fluorescent compass with thermo-elastic housing, floating dial, rotating bezel, sapphire bearing, and tripod connection are perfect for your next adventure. It also comes with a water-resistant pouch made of nylon. It is the best survival compass. 

It is considered perfect for camping, hiking, scouting, training, and so on. It can offer the most accurate functionality anytime and anywhere. It is also best rated for its accuracy and military toughness.

Specific Features

  • Material – Metal
  • Dimension – 3×2×5 inches
  • Thermo-elastic liquid-filled housing with floating dial
  • Rotating bezel ring 
  • Ruler units to measure in inches and centimeters 
  • Built-in bubble level 
  • Fluorescent 
  • Conversion chart on black plate 
  • Adjustable sighting lens
  • 36″ lanyard 
  • Tripod screw hole on the base
  • ASIN – B001ID4ZY0

Pros:

➞   It is durable and meant for rough use.
➞   It gives accurate readings, even in the dark.
➞   It runs off a single AA battery which lasts hours.

Cons:

➞   It is a bit heavier.

3. Cammenga 27CS Lensatic Compass

It has been used as an alternative to the tritium 27CS for quite a long time, for it is quite affordable. This phosphorescent compass is waterproof, shockproof, and sand proof. It has passed the test of battles to prove itself as the best survival compass.

 It is equipped with sight wire, magnifying lens, dial graduation in both degrees, and MILS that provide the most accurate readings. It is extensively used by military forces, government agencies, and every adventurous enthusiast.

Specific Features

  • Size – Pack of 2
  • ASIN – B0754CV2XG
  • Frame Material – Aluminium 
  • Rotating bi-directional bezel
  • Operational Temperature – -50°F to 150°F
  • Paint – Phosphorescent 

Pros:

➞   It is meant for hard use.
➞   It is quite cheap to resort to the product.
➞   It gives a clear and perfect reading, even in the dark.

Cons:

➞   Since it is used mainly for taking Azimuth through sighting, degrees of error might occur in your navigation.

4. SUUNTO Compasses (G Mirror Compass)

It is a mechanical compass with a printed map. It is made in Finland. It is known for its speed and stability and also for its simple use and requires no batteries. Nevertheless, it is the best survival compass available at an affordable price and is perfect if you are into camping and hiking.

With this one, you will get a compact mirrored compass that is perfect for taking highly accurate and reliable directional measurements. Its Global needle works anywhere on the planet; base plate with a magnifying lens.

Specific Features

  • Size – One Size 
  • Style – G Mirror Compass
  • Colour – G Mirror Compass 
  • Dimension – 1.01×0.28×1.57 inches 
  • Global needle
  • Extra sighting hole
  • System of fixed decimation adjustment 
  • The magnifying lens on the base plate 
  • Luminous bezel
  • ASIN – BOOOFEUCRW

Pros:

➞   It works anywhere, anytime, in every part of the world.
➞   It works in areas even with a sizeable magnetic variations.
➞   It provides a precise reading in the dark and is easy to use and read.

Cons:

➞   It is not meant for hard use.

5. SUUNTO Compasses (Clipper)

It is made in Finland and is known for its speed, stability, and simple use. This liquid-filled jeweled compass balanced mainly for Northern Hemisphere, do not require batteries. Perfect if you are a sportsperson. The fact that it is used while navigating underwater makes it the best survival compass.

Opting for this survival compass will let you have a fun and super-compact aid for underwater navigation. It can easily clip to watch strap, the strap of a backpack, sleeve, side of the map, etc

Specific Features

  • Size – OSFA
  • Style – Clipper 
  • Material – Composite
  • Colour – Black 
  • Dimension – 1.43×1.94×2.18 inches
  • Rotating bezel with 10° increments 
  • Luminous prints
  • ASIN – BOOOBSDU4Y

Pros:

➞   It gives precise readings, even in the dark.
➞   It is waterproof, which makes it possible to be used underwater.

Cons:

➞   It is not meant for rough use.
➞   It cannot be used in extreme weather conditions.

6. SUUNTO A-10 IN Metric Recreational Field Compass

It is perfect for beginners because it is handy and well-designed and works anytime, anywhere, in any part of the world. It is not balanced concerning one particular zone or hemisphere. It is a two-zone, scratch-resistant, clear and durable watch. 

This lightweight compass has a fixed declination correction scale and a patent-pending snap-lock that can detach from the lanyard, quickly and easily. This jewel bearing compass is the best survival compass in every part of the world.

Specific Features

  • Weight – 1.41 ounces
  • Dimension – 11.5×5.25×1 inches 
  • Scratch-resistant acrylic
  • Fixed Declination Correction Scale 
  • Dual Scales (cm and inches)
  • Two-zone system 
  • ASIN – BOOOFEXZGW
  • Lanyard with detachable snap-lock.

Pros:

➞   It is lightweight and scratch-resistant.
➞   Its two-zone system makes it work accurately in every hemisphere and zone.
➞   It is easy to use.

Cons:

➞   It is not saleable in Catalina Island.
➞   It needs to be handled with care since it is not meant for rough use.

7. Brunton TruArc 3 (Base Plate Compass)

It is perfect for beginners and works accurately, even in areas with high magnetic variations and at no cost, loses its polarity. The TruArc Global Needle System makes it usable in any part of the world, anytime. 

It is made in the USA and has both imperial and metric scales (cm or inch) and no fixed declination. Its U-Proof Warranty makes it the best survival compass for learners.

It is reliable and comprises advanced navigation. With this one, you will get a global needle along with imperial and metric scales. Its tool-free declination turns the TruArc 3 into a good learners’ and a dependable EDC (every day carry).

Specific Features

  • Material – Synthetic
  • Dimension – 2.5×0.5×3.5 inches 
  • Colour – Clear
  • Finishing – Casting, Spinning
  • ASIN – BOOIL6LFPE
  • U-Proof Warranty 
  • Imperial and Metric Scales (cm or inch)
  • Global Needle
  • Other Components – TruArc base plate 

Pros:

➞   It is convenient to carry.
➞   It does not lose polarity and works in areas with high magnetic variations.
➞   It is quite affordable.

Cons:

➞   Its readings are not visible in the dark.

8. Cammenga CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass 

It has passed the test of battles for decades and is built to the specification of MIL-PRF-10436N. It is waterproof, shockproof, and sand proof, plus it operates in extreme environments. Its tritium micro-lights can remain luminous for over 12 years, without any maintenance. 

It has a magnifying lens, mils, sight wire, and dial graduation (in both degrees) and is extensively used by military forces, government agencies, and adventurous freaks all over the world. It is the best survival compass for anyone trapped in an extreme situation.

Specific Features

  • Dimension – 6×4×3 inches
  • Luminosity – Tritium 
  • Material – Cast Aluminium 
  • Colour – Olive 
  • Operational Temperature – -50°F to +150°F
  • Bi-directional rotating bezel
  • Minimum Luminous Life – 10 years
  • Reading – Degrees and mils
  • Carrying Pouch with Belt Clip
  • ASIN – BOO1W2CJX6

Pros:

➞   It is meant for use in extreme environments.
➞   It is waterproof, shockproof, and sand proof.
➞   No additional flashlight is required.
➞   It can remain luminous for over ten years.

Cons:

➞   It is a bit heavier.

9. Coleman Pocket Compass

It provides a speedy accuracy because of its liquid-filled design. It has a luminous pointer and a jewel bearing. It has the traditional eight directional points (N, NE, E, ES, S, SW, W, NW), which make it easy to be used. 

The snap lid protects it, and the hang tab makes it possible to be attached to the belt loop, keychain, and backpack. Overall, it is the best survival compass one can have while moving towards some unknown territories or deep dark wilderness.

Specific Features

  • Material – DriSilque
  • Colour – Black/White
  • Dimension – 7.2×0.54×3.4 inches
  • Liquid-filled design
  • Material — Tough and hard
  • Jewel bearing
  • Eight directional points (N, NE, E, ES, S, SW, W, NW) 
  • Luminous Pointer
  • Snap lid
  • Hang tab 
  • ASIN – BOOOQ9AP12

Pros:

➞   It can be read even in the dark.
➞   Its liquid-filled design gives an accurate reading.
➞   It has a hang tab to attach it to a keychain, belt loop, and backpacks.

Cons:

➞   It is a bit costly.

Buying Guide

While choosing your best survival compass, you need to look upon some of the key features that can let your chosen compass be the best one for your use. Below, we have covered some of the important factors upon which you should pay heed while finalizing your best survival compass-

Construction

Look carefully into how the compass has been constructed. An ethical compass will have a rotating bezel, base plate, declination adjustment feature(s), and a magnetized needle. It is also advisable to choose compasses depending upon your requirements. If you are planning for a world trip, you must get a compass that has a global needle and works everywhere.

Advanced features 

If a compass has a sighting mirror, luminescent indicators, various scales, requires no battery, or comes with batteries that do not run out quickly and magnifying lens, it might cost you a higher price but always go for it. It might just make up for the best survival compass. These compasses are very useful in every situation and give the most accurate reading.

Water resistance 

You do not know which environment you might land up in, and therefore, it is advisable to be prepared in every way. Waterproof compasses can also be used underwater.

Shockproof 

Out of all the things, this is very important. Pay any price you want to but do not swap your life for anything.

Reviews

Reviews are the raw and unfiltered opinions of the users who share their experience of using the compass that you might want to buy. If a compass looks cool, has brilliant features, and is perfectly designed but laden with negative feedbacks, it is advisable not to buy it. 

Be economical 

There is no point investing in something that is overpriced but does not satisfy the requirement or fail to come up to the expectations of the people.

Brand

A compass might just last a lifetime and is an asset that is handed over from one generation to another. It is wise to invest in bigger and better brands that provide not only quality products but also the lifetime warranty.

Conclusion 

Hopefully, you are ready to embark on your next mission with the best survival compass. Whether you are a Hollywood persona or a world traveler, this should be the most important in your itinerary!

FAQs

What is the best compass for survival?

SUUNTO A-10 Field Compass.

What is the most accurate survival compass? 

Tritium Lensatic Compass.

What can ruin a compass?

Metal objects like keys, wristwatch, clubs, and even electric wires can affect the readings of the compass and might be dangerous too.

What is the best outdoor survival compass? 

Cammenga Phosphorescent Lensatic Compass.

What is the best survival kit compass? 

Cammenga CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass.

Article by:

Eric Birch

Eric Birch is a survival specialist trained in the U.S. military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. When he’s not ferociously learning new survival tactics, he enjoys the great outdoors, and/or cheering on one of his favorite sports teams.

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