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Best Compass

Top Compass

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Getting out into nature and the wilderness and exploring the world around you is a terrific way to spend an afternoon or a weekend. Taking in the sights of your local nature trails or camping in the woods are just two of the ways you can spend more time outdoors. You can go from learning how to hike or camp to wanting to do it all over the world. The more advanced levels you take, the terrain may be tougher and the conditions may be more difficult to deal with. You’re going to want some tried and true gear if you are taking the next step from local hikes to longer treks. A compass is a must-have as a hiker or camper. This helps you find your way more easily, as you won’t always be able to rely on your cellphone. It can give you an idea of what direction you’re heading in and help you figure out where you need to be going. We’ve highlighted five of the best compasses on the market and written about them below. Take a look and get outside more.

Built to last

Best for Bad WeatherImage source: Cammenga/Amazon

When forced to go up against tough conditions, the Cammenga Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass is up to the task. This aluminum compass is a terrific option that easy to keep in your pocket. It is accurate up to ± 40 mils. It is made to perform under extreme temperatures, so you can use this in the winter or the summer in almost any climate. It is waterproof, sand proof, and constructed with a powder coated aluminum frame for optimal endurance. This is an official US military compass meant for survival. It provides you with accurate distances for backpacking and the self-powered light stays illuminated for up to 12 years. This can be used for all sorts of activities including surveying, hunting, backpacking, camping, hiking, boating, and for youth scouts.

Key Features:

  • Made to perform under extreme temperatures
  • Waterproof, sand proof, and powder coated
  • Light works for up to 12 years
Cammenga Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass, Olive Drab Accurate Waterproof Hand Hel… Price:$109.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Understand the elevation

Best with InclinometerImage source: Eyeskey/Amazon

Doing more climbing during your hike? Then consider the Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Navigation Compass with Inclinometer. With the inclinometer, you can measure the angle of the slope, elevation, and avalanche hazards when you go mountain climbing, backcountry skiing, or hiking steep slopes. The compass is liquid-filled and has an integrated bubble level to deliver accurate and reliable readings. The dial is luminous and the marching line is adjustable. This has a thumb hold and a magnifying viewer to get a fast read. The waterproof rugged aluminum alloy build and the size means it will withstand harsh conditions. There is a sighting hairline that lets you line up objects in the distance and this has an adjustable diopter sighting lens. You’ll also enjoy the rotating bezel ring, measurement conversion chart, and carrying pouch to keep it in.

Key Features:

  • Integrated bubble level
  • Inclinometer for measuring slope and elevation
  • Sighting hairline
Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Navigation Compass with Inclinometer | Impact R… List Price:$39.99 Price:$27.99 You Save:$12.00 (30%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

See when it’s dark out

Best for NighttimeImage source: Sportneer/Amazon

Keeping the Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass in the sun will help you use it at night. That’s because the fluorescent ring around the compass will take in the daylight to work during nighttime, allowing you to see when it’s toughest to read. This professional grade military compass will always lead you in the right direction, as the ergonomic design increases the reading accuracy. Ideal for camping, military usage, emergencies, and more, this comes with a belt loop attachment and a carrying case for your pocket to keep it with you. The waterproof construction leads to waterproof and shake proof capabilities.

Key Features:

  • Fluorescent ring that lights up at night
  • Ergonomic design
  • Belt loop attachment
Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass with Carrying Bag, Waterproof and Shakeproof, Army… List Price:$19.99 Price:$14.99 You Save:$5.00 (25%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Hike in the US or Canada more easily

Best for Northern HemisphereImage source: SUUNTO/Amazon

The SUUNTO MC-2 Compass has advanced navigation. This was designed for precise directional measurements and has been balanced for the Northern Hemisphere to use with USGS UTM scales. There are options for global measurements as well as imperial or metric configurations as well, so you can pick the one that works best for you. This is a professional mirror compass and it is operable in low light scenarios. These are made in Finland to help you safely navigate the great outdoors. It includes a sighting hole and notch for accurate bearings, a clinometer, and a declination adjustment tool. This is made from ultra durable materials and there are no batteries required.

Key Features:

  • Balanced for the Northern Hemisphere
  • Professional mirror compass
  • Declination adjustment tool
SUUNTO MC-2 NH USGS Mirror Compass List Price:$60.00 Price:$48.32 You Save:$11.68 (19%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Find a cost-effective option

Best on a BudgetImage source: TurnOnSport/Amazon

If you are casually learning how to use a compass or have a son or daughter who is scouting, you can choose the TurnOnSport Orienteering Compass. This has an acrylic baseplate with an Azimuth bearing and a 360-degree rotating bezel. This will help you read cartographic maps and offers a compass ruler and a magnifying glass. It is durable and lightweight with a magnetic needle and directional arrow. The magnetized needle is made by vacuum technology completely filled with a liquid oil. This is a bang-for-your-buck purchase that will help anyone while they’re hiking.

Key Features:

  • Helps you read cartographic maps
  • Acrylic baseplate
  • Filled with a liquid oil
Orienteering Compass - Hiking Backpacking Compass - Advanced Scout Compass Camping and Navigati… Price:$10.23 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Chris Hachey handles e-commerce and sponsored content for BGR. He has worked as an editor and writer for over a decade for various publications and distribution services. He focuses on consumer products to help you find the best of what's on the market. When he's not searching for the top deals, he's likely watching his favorite sports teams or walking around his hometown with his fiancée and his dog.

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