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The Best Survival Compass – Top Picks and Recommendations

My grandpa always said, “a good compass is worth its weight in gold” as we would walk through the woods together going to our hunting blind. I always appreciated that advice and it’s true, a good compass is definitely worth quite a bit, especially if you’re lost in the woods with no phone signal. It’s happened to me on a number of occasions.

the best survival compass

Our team here at Gun Laser Guide has put together what we think is a list of the best survival compasses on the market today. Have a look below and see what you think!

1. Professional Multifunction Military Army Metal Sighting Compass

This is a great all-around compass that you can toss in your go-bag and forget about until you need it. It’s low cost, has a rotating bezel, rulers in inches and centimeters, and a 36 inch lanyard. It even has a scale chart on the back and a tripod mounting hole. How convenient is that?

A high visibility compass is important for reading maps at night, but if you can see the map, then hopefully you can also read the compass. This one is nice and bright on the off chance that you need to follow a simple azimuth after the sun goes down. It’s nearly bright enough that you could hit it with your flashlight and use it as a glow stick.

Metal and glass construction makes this compass feel sturdy in the hand, and the build quality is excellent. For such a small prismatic, it feels like it’s built to last a lifetime.

The back cover contains a slope reference chart, no need to do trigonometry in your head, or worse to guess at the distance up that next hill. The right tool for any navigating job.

Sighting is easy with the notch and adjustable diopter glass. Finding your way without GPS will be a breeze with this one. It’s not the slimmest compass in the world, but with the features, it can’t be beat. The water resistant nylon pouch will keep it safely stowed until needed.

Best of all, this survival compass is affordable (check the best price on Amazon).

2. Ultimate Survival Technologies Deluxe Map Compass

Sometimes it’s best to stick to basics. This compass does just that. It’s a design that anyone who was a boyscout is familiar with. There is a swiveling bezel, and a simple arrow-shaped magnet. The compass is liquid filled for smooth movement of the magnetic arrow. The plastic backing is clear, so you can see your map through it, and it has a built-in magnifier, which comes in handy, especially in the dark.

The plastic construction isn’t the sturdiest thing in the world, and I always worry that plastic compasses will leak, though I’ve never actually had one leak on me.

It has measuring scales on both sides, one in inches and the other in centimeters. There is some luminescence, but it isn’t overdone. It’s simple. Not as glowy in the dark as some other compasses, but functional.

The best part about this compass is that it fits well with a huge point in a survivalist mindset, the boyscout motto: be prepared. At this price, you can buy several. Stick one in every glove-box, back-pack, or anywhere else you might look for a compass. This is the same strategy I use with cheap lighters. When I find some that work at the right price, I buy a handful, and hide them everywhere. Just like I’m never without fire, you should never be without a compass.

3. HTE Survival Compass

A 3 inch by 2-1/4 inch box of wonderful that unfolds into a robust and useful sighting compass. The dial is luminous, somewhere between the last two items. Not super bright, but not to minimalistic either. It fits that special place where it won’t screw up your night vision, but it’s still easy to read.

The ruler on this one isn’t great. In fact, it might as well be non-existent, but it’ll work in a pinch, better than carving notches into a stick anyway. The sighting system is sweet. Nothing will ever beat the simplicity of a stretched wire over the sighting hole. No etched glass or plastic, nothing fancy, and it gets the job done.

You can even fake a declination adjustment by moving the glass over the compass. It has two yellow lines on it that will work fine if you know what you’re doing. Not as good as a dedicated declination setting, but again, it works for the minimalist with the right skill set.

Overall, this is a pretty great compass, and it isn’t expensive. No reason this couldn’t fill your needs, or the needs of the little boyscout in the family. It’s cheap and it works!