5 Best Navigation Maps & Compass for Hikers and Trekkers

We reviewed 4 Navigation Maps & Compass for Hikers and Trekkers

Introduction

A hike helps recharge your batteries but navigating in an unknown territory or finding your way back to where you started from can be hassling especially at night or in the evening. Though hikers have access to hi-tech gadgets like smartphones, GPS watches, and portable GPS gadgets, nothing compares with the versatility of a classic compass. You can easily figure out your exact location using a compass and a navigational map provided you’ve some basic course-plotting skills.

Suunto MC-2G in Global CompassSuunto MC-2G in Global CompassSee Price
Suunto MCA-D Mirror Camping and Hiking CompassSuunto MCA-D Mirror Camping and Hiking CompassSee Price
Silva Ranger CL – CompassSilva Ranger CL – CompassSee Price
Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate CompassBrunton TruArc 3 Base Plate CompassSee Price

1. Suunto MC-2G in Global Compass

Suunto MC-2G in Global Compass
The Suunto MC-2G in Global Compass features a clinometer, rotating bezel, ruler, sighting mirror, and a magnifying lens making it ideal for navigation during trekking, mountaineering, and hunting etc. Also, the compass’s hardy construction makes it supremely resistant to water, weather changes, and rough handling.

FEATURES

  • Adjustable declination
  • Global needle compatible for all world zones
  • Luminescent indicators
  • Sighting mirror
  • Analog function
  • Adjustment key on lanyard
  • Scales graduated in inch and cm

PROS

  • Extra sighting orifice improves accuracy of reading
  • Anti-slip rubberized pads for stable placement
  • Luminous bezel emanating two bright colors for nighttime visibility
  • Removable snap-lock for using conveniently with navigational maps

CONS

  • Markings get erased from the bezel after some months
  • Outer ring stays illuminated for a short interval
  • The protective cover is not very durable

2. Suunto MCA-D Mirror Camping and Hiking Compass

Suunto MCA-D Mirror Camping and Hiking CompassThe Suunto MCA-D compass with a compact, crystal-clear mirror and featuring a permanently set declination scale comes extremely handy for hikers, trekkers, mountaineers, surveyors, and rescue patrol teams. Mirrored lid closure can be made to open at 60°, 120°, and 180° for figuring out precise location and can also be made to shut firmly thus offering full protection to the compass.

FEATURES

  • Durable construction
  • Liquid filled
  • Rotating bezel
  • Features a ruler
  • Sighting mirror doubles up as emergency signaling reflector/indicator

PROS

  • Premium quality steel needle having jeweled bearings helps in correct reading
  • Straightened edge for using suitably with maps
  • Protractor has orienting lines helps navigation via maps
  • Luminous markings for navigating in dim light conditions

CONS

  • Setting some functions can be complex
  • No switching on/off knob for saving battery

3. Silva Ranger CL – Compass

Silva Ranger CL – CompassThe Silva Ranger CL 515 is an extremely versatile compass that serves the purpose when you need to find your way while you’re out hiking, mountaineering or hunting. The compass comes with a luminous bezel, ruler, magnifying lens, clinometer, and sighting mirror that help in faultless readings.

FEATURES

  • Large sighting mirror
  • V-notch
  • Comes with inch and millimeter rules
  • Clinometer
  • Luminous bezel
  • Silicon feet
  • Lanyard having adjustable slider

PROS

  • Silicone feet helps in gripping maps
  • Clinometer aids in calculating inclination or declination of vertical slopes
  • Magnifying lens enlarges viewings

CONS

  • There is no global needle
  • Bubbles might form in the liquid
  • Separate tools required for adjusting declination

4. Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass

Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate CompassThe Brunton TruArc 3 Base Plate Compass is an extremely affordable compass that doesn’t compromise on functionality. This compass comes to your aid as it has all the components helping you to keep on track while you explore the countryside or a forested area.

FEATURES

  • Graduation in 2 degrees
  • Inch and centimeter scales
  • Global needle
  • Tool-less compensation for declination

PROS

  • Extremely convenient to hold
  • Rotary bezel for fast and precise readings
  • Baseplate has a straight edge with inch markings that helps in reading maps
  • Adjustment for declination without using tools

CONS

  • Non-luminous
  • Declination marks can be difficult to sight

Conclusion

What features should a compass have that makes it competent enough to be used for the basic purpose of finding direction? A compass should allow for declination adjustment, should have a global needle so that it can work anywhere, and have a sighting mirror for studying the compass as well as viewing the surroundings, and so on. All the 5 compasses reviewed in this article were equipped with most of the basic features rendering them capable of using during a trekking or hunting trip.

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