Top 6 Best Orienteering Compass 2019- (Reviews & Buying Guide)

Best Orienteering Compass

Camping, hiking, and boating are some of the most fantastic ways of enjoying the outdoors. Some of us even go to the extreme of going off-grid where civilization is yet to have a good grasp. It is here where you cannot use your smartphone for navigation, and your only option is the good old-fashioned device, the compass.

The best navigation device does not have to rely on batteries or even a cell service to get you home safely. In the following write-up, we review some of the best Orienteering compasses on the market so that your outdoor adventures can turn out to be fun just the way you wanted it to be.

The outdoors don't have to be a nightmare, but a wonderful experience that refreshes your mind and recoups your energy to improve the quality of your life.

Find out, What is the best compass for orienteering?

6 Best Orienteering Compass: Comparison and Reviews

Product
Accuracy
Weight
Dimensions
Material
Price

Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal

0.5 degrees

6.2 oz.

2.7 x 2 x 1 in

aluminum alloy

SUUNTO A-10 Recreational Fiel


0.6 ounces

1.4 x 3.2 x 5.1 in

High-grade Steel

Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Army

0.5 degrees

6.2 oz

2.75 x 2 x 0.98 in

Aluminum alloy

SharpSurvival Best Camping

0.5 degrees

2.9 ounces

2 x 2 x 0.4 in

Brass

Reliable Outdoor Gear


0.8 ounces

4.6 x 2.2 x 0.4 in

Strong plastic

The Best Multipurpose Magnetic


3 ounces

3 3/4 x 2 ½ x 5/8"

Durable plastic


1. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Metal Sighting Navigation Compass

The military grade navigation compass is a handy little equipment that every hiker or camper will find useful. It is one of the best orienteering compasses on the market, and it is for a good reason.

It is a versatile compass that you can use to measure the azimuth angle, the slope, and the deviation angle accurately. Therefore, the orienteering compass helps you get to your destination comfortably and quickly.

It has an accuracy of up to 0.5 degrees, and the calibration is transparent through the glass. The compass also has a sighting glass that helps you determine the distance of objects.

Pros.

  • The compass is a versatile hand-held device that you can use to determine the azimuth angle, the slope as well as the deviation angle
  • It is efficient and accurate
  • Its accuracy is up to 0.5 degrees, and the calibration is clear
  • The orienteering compass has a sighting glass to help you determine the distance of objects

Cons.

  • Beginners may have a hard time understanding it.

2. SUUNTO A-10 Recreational Field Compass

Suunto a-10 compass is one of the most compact and lightweight navigational equipment that beginner hikers and campers will love. It is user-friendly, and the controls are easy to understand.

Just follow the directions provided in the manual, and you are good to go.

Some people may think that a compact and lightweight orienteering compass is not durable. However, nothing could be further from the truth. 

The body of the Suunto a-10 field compass is high-grade Steel and will take a significant amount of beating, as well as stress without a problem.

Another important feature is the fixed declination that makes your work easier. You will not need to keep on calculating the declination angle. The liquid-filled capsule reduces interference such as vibrations to give you an accurate reading. 

Pros.

  • Compact and lightweight compass
  • high-grade Steel body for durability
  • A fixed declination feature for accurate readings
  • It is user-friendly
  • Liquid-filled for stable and precise reading

Cons.

  • Some users say that it is fragile
  • The capsule may not be liquid filled

3. Eyeskey Multifunctional Military Army Aluminum Alloy Compass

This military-grade aluminum alloy compass is easily the most accurate orienteering compass that you may come across. It has an attractive design and is compact to fit inside your pocket.

The rugged body makes the compass stress-resistant, and can efficiently work on a variety of environments. It also has a fluorescent light to make it visible at night. However, you don't have to worry about battery life as it uses natural light that it is stored and uses when it gets dark.

But what makes a compass so accurate?

The engineering of the built-in bubble level protects the needle from vibrations and the sort to give you an accurate reading. It is also waterproof, and you can use the navigation equipment in any weather. 

Pros.

  • The durable aluminum alloy material makes it rugged 
  • Has an attractive design
  • It is compact and will easily fit in your pocket
  • Fluorescent light to make it visible in poor lighting

Cons.

  • It may be a little heavier than others on the market
  • Some users are complaining of leaking fluid

4. SharpSurvival Best Camping Survival Compass

It may seem old-fashioned, but it is a top compass that you can rely on when hiking and camping. The orienteering compass has a 360-degree rotating bezel to make you efficient when navigating through the strange lands. As a boy scout or hiker who is just starting out, a user-friendly compass comes in handy, and this brass survival compass is simple to use.

The best compass for orienteering should be simple to see in the dark. This navigation equipment is luminous, and you can easily find your direction without the need for a flashlight.

Various orienteering compass reviews from customers point out that the equipment has an aesthetic appeal, and which is an essential feature for some people. Aesthetically appealing products create a certain sense of confidence and pride.

The compass is compact and will fit comfortably in your pocket or your backpack pocket. It is not a hassle to carry around. Even better, the compass is easy to hold for small hands. Therefore, little kids can use it comfortably.

Pros.

  • A reliable compass
  • It is user-friendly
  • It glows in the dark, and you don't need a flashlight
  • The compass is lightweight and compact
  • Comfortably fits in small hands

Cons.

  • The compass looks fragile
  • Some users say that the compass does not point north

5. Reliable Outdoor Gear Professional Boy Scout Compass

The good-looking Boy Scouts compass is well labeled and easy-to-read. It is one of the most convenient navigational devices that both beginners and experienced navigators will find useful.

It has a magnifying glass clear base plate orienteering compass and rulers to help you find your Direction effortlessly. The compass has everything that you need for a successful hike or camping.

Various orienteering compass reviews from customers are quick to point out the capable clinometers and fluid housing that enhances your accuracy. It also has a fluorescent needle that glows in the dark. You, therefore, don't need a torch to guide you through the bushes in the dark. 

Pros.

  • A well-labeled Boy Scouts compass
  • It is easy to read and use
  • Appropriate for both beginners and experienced navigators
  • An efficient clinometers and fluid housing
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons.

  • It does not have an adjustable declination
  • The compass may not be appropriate for hiking long distances

6. The Best Multipurpose Magnetic Easy To Use Camping

With such features as a geared declination adjustment and split sighting mirror, this orienteering compass may be what you are looking for before you can set out for your next hike.

The split-sight mirror is sufficient in navigating through distant landmarks. You will find that the base plate has three scales to help you plot on the map quickly and efficiently. It has silicone feet that provide a good grip on the map when plotting.

Any hiker or camper will find the geared declination quite useful as you don't have to keep on calculating the declination angle. You can set and forget, and that is what is most convenient about the compass. 

Pros.

  • The compass has a geared declination adjustment
  • Split-sighting mirror between navigating distant landmarks
  • Three scales on the base plate to help you plot on the map quickly and efficiently
  • Lightweight and compact to fit in your pocket 

Cons.

  • The hinge may not be efficient
  • It may not come with instructions 
  • Requires a rechargeable battery

The Ultimate Guide on How to Choose Best Orienteering Compass

Best Orienteering Compass

Amazon.com

What is an orienteering compass?

The base plate compass or an orienteering compass is vital navigation equipment that combines a protractor within it. The compass is an essential component, and any person going outdoors to have fun should never be without it.

There are various essential features on the orienteering compass among them is the fixed sight. You use a fixed sight for accurate measurements.

The travel indicator is usually the luminous North box, and it points in the direction that you need to go. It is your intended course, and the needle should be inside it.

The luminous needle is especially important during the night. All you need to do is shine a light on to it, and it remains luminous for up to 15 minutes.

Another important feature is the side mirror which shoots an azimuth, which also determines the bearing of distant objects on the map. You will also find the spindle that has between 0 and 360 degrees Mark. It is not hard to spin.

There are also other dials on the best orienteering compass, but the spinning dial is the most important. The best played as a measuring tool and it helps you determine the distance on the map.

​What do all excellent orienteering compasses have?

There are various features that you need to look out for when choosing the best orienteering compass on the market. It always makes sense to select the best equipment to be effective on the ground. It is never fun getting lost in the middle of nowhere.

1. Digital vs. Analogue

Typically, most people will choose a digital compass as opposed to an analog compass.

A digital compass comes with various bells and whistles which any technological savvy person will find attractive. For example, they may have a hiking watch among others.

And despite all these attractive features, digital compasses rely on battery power to work. You will need to charge them before you can use them. Unfortunately, you may not be able to use them in the wild or away from civilization when you forget to charge them.

Best Orienteering Compass

Amazon.com

Your best option is the analog compass. You can use it any day or anytime without the need to charge or change the battery. They may seem old-fashioned, but analog compasses are reliable.

Therefore, if you are planning on going off the grid to enjoy a hike, kayak, or even camping, you are going to need reliable devices and an analog compass is better than a digital compass.

2. Sighting Mirror

This is one of the critical features in advanced navigation. The sighting mirror lets you view your surroundings as well as the compass at the same time. And even better, you can use this feature in emergency cases. Therefore it is a feature that you should consider if you're thinking of taking advantage of advanced navigation features in your next hike.

3. Global Needle

Even some of the most accurate compass may not work in certain areas. Most of the compasses on the market need calibration for magnetic variance depending on the region. For example, a compass calibrated in Australia may not be efficient in a place like France.

It may drag and stick, affecting its efficiency.

If you are planning on traveling around the world in different places, then you may want to find the compass with a global needle. Orienteering compasses with a global needle are more accurate and reliable, especially if you are traveling in different places around the world.

Such a compass saves you from the hassle of having to calibrate every time you move to a new place.

4. Declination Adjustment

As a hiker that wants to extend the fun beyond the limits of civilization, then you must know true north and magnetic North. The point that points to the geographic North Pole is the true north. on the other hand, magnetic North Pole points in the direction of Magnetic North Pole.

Magnetic North Pole and Geographic North Pole may not be the same thing. The two points vary by a few degrees that may prove significant if you are making long treks. The angle that measures the difference between the two points is the declination.

However, you will find compasses that have a declination adjustment feature to account for the differences between the two points and make the necessary corrections. A compass with adjustable declination subtracts or adds to the declination angle.

After you have made the adjustments, the declination feature automatically determines the correct point without having to waste time calculating it yourself. It is a useful feature for those people that made long hikes in different regions in the world. 

5. Backlighting and Lumosity

Camping or hiking during the late hours can present several challenges, and among them is poor visibility. It is therefore vital to have a luminous compass or a compass with backlighting to be visible at all times.

A compass with the luminous light or backlight saves you from the hassle of having to use your flashlight now and then.

It is a convenient feature that the best orienteering compass 2019 should have

7. Durability

In the majority of cases, durability goes hand-in-hand with the top-quality devices. A top compass should not only have the necessary features but also be durable. It would be unfortunate if the compass breaks down at the middle of nowhere, with nothing else to help you navigate the wild.

But how do you determine the durability of a particular compass?

Orienteering compass reviews from customers is the best way to determine the quality as well as the durability of the navigation equipment. If a good number of customers have nothing else to say apart from good things, then you should purchase the compass since it is good quality. 

8. Warranty

The Warranty period and the overall terms is another important consideration before you can purchase a Suunto a-10 compass or any other type of compass. Some of the best and reliable brands on the market have better warranty terms than others, and they are the most appropriate for you.

A particular brand can prove more expensive than the others, but it is always better to spend more to buy quality. 

​It's Time to know ​what equipment is needed for orienteering?

Orienteering Equipment

There are various types of Orienteering equipment, and your choice may depend on several factors, among them, preference. The most popular orienteering compass is the liquid-filled compass. However, the liquid filling of the needle chamber is not a feature restricted to one compass, but rather, it is quite common.

Suggestion from Olav Lundanes​. ​The World Orienteering Championships for eight times.

The primary purpose of the liquid is to buffer the needle against vibrations and movement. It tempers the erratic movement and dampens the swing of the needle.

Therefore, the best compass for orienteering should have a liquid-filled needle chamber for efficiency and accuracy. It is a critical feature. 

The simple base plate compass is another type of navigation equipment that only has the basic features, necessary for guiding you. In the majority of cases, these types of compasses come with a transparent acrylic base plate to help you view the map through them.

Simple base plate compass is most popular among beginners. These are simple to use and don't require so many skills from you.

Orienteering compasses go by various names and feature advanced navigation features. In most cases, Orienteering compasses have certain features such as clinometers, declination scales, and sighting mirrors. Highly skilled navigators use them with topographic maps.

The orienteering map provides sufficient detail such as the topographic features of an area such as fences, ditches, and cliffs. You also get to see the trails, vegetation and other relevant information such as elevation. With such equipment as Suunto a-10 field compass and the orienteering map, you are set for that all-important hike.

Now the question is: How do you use an orienteering compass?

How to Use an Orienteering Compass

​A base plate compass or an orienteering compass Incorporate a protractor within and ensures that you carry minimal equipment for navigation.

When using the Orienteering compass, open one mirror and put the map on one edge of the base plate. It can be an edge.

The two critical spots are the place where you are right now, and the area that you want to go to.

If the two points are farther apart than the combined length of the base plate and mirror, you can place the orienteering compass on a ruler.

Place it along the edge of the ruler.

Best Orienteering Compass

Amazon.com

Make sure that the travel indicator is pointing in the right direction, which in most cases is the direction that you want to take.

After placing the compass correctly on the map, turn the dials so that each direction lines correspond with the North-South points on the map. Make sure that the red shed is pointing to the north on the map.

You can ignore the needle and use the compass as a protractor. You will be using it to map the angle and hold the needle is doing does not matter.

And without regard to magnetic declination - You can have a compass with adjustable declination - your compass is set after aligning with the map’s North-South direction.

Hold the compass squarely in front of you and rotate until the red north indicating point. This point should be within the red luminous North Box. With red Fred inside his crib, you are more than set to start your journey.

The indicator is now pointing in the direction that you should take. 

Final Note

The best orienteering compass important equipment for people that fancy the idea of going off-grid once in a while. Sometimes stretching the boundaries is the best way of having fun outdoors. Get the best Orienteering equipment and have the best fun that you know how.

The above suggestions are without a doubt some of the best orienteering compasses, and you can rely on them to guide you through the wild or whatever place your heart wants to explore. Have fun, and don't get lost!

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