Everything to Know and Consider When Choosing the Best Compass for Hiking

Everything to Know and Consider When Choosing the Best Compass for Hiking

hiking compas

Is it a must to get the best compass for hiking when you intend to go hiking? Well, when you are hiking or going to an area that has not been touched by humans much, sometimes you need a good compass. It can be said that a compass is one of the most important things to bring besides hiking clothes and the others. You can know the cardinal directions and read the map properly with a compass. There are also people who use compasses to find out feng shui or determine the direction of the Qibla.

However, the various choices of compasses often make us confused in choosing them. Especially with the many popular brands. Therefore, this time we will provide tips on choosing a compass and recommend the ten best compasses for you.

Choose a compass based on the magnetic compass needle

There are three types of compasses that are generally known, namely wet magnetic, dry magnetic and digital compasses. Each type of compass has its own price range and advantages. Therefore, first confirm the characteristics of each type.

Wet magnetic compass, the compass needle is more stable

Wet magnetic compass generally uses oil or liquid in it. However, because of the more frequent use of oil, this wet magnetic type compass is often called an oil compass. The use of fluids in the compass makes the compass needle unshaken and stable. So, you can immediately know the cardinal directions when you need it.

However, the viscosity of the liquid inside the compass can change depending on the temperature around you. Temperature that is too cold can cause the liquid to freeze. Due to its limited temperature, you cannot always use this compass. If you plan to camp in very cold places, avoid using a wet magnetic compass.

Dry magnetic compass, can be taken anywhere

Dry magnetic compass does not use the liquid inside. The compass needle is supported by a pin which allows it to rotate freely. This type of compass is the most commonly found and the price is not too expensive.

When compared to a wet magnetic compass, it will be more difficult for you to determine the direction when using this compass. This is because the compass needle rotates more easily and tends to be less stable. However, this dry magnetic type compass is not affected by the ambient temperature because there is no liquid in it. Therefore, you can use it in various fields of travel.

Digital compass, more informative and easy to use

The digital compass does not use magnets to detect the earth’s magnetic field, but uses sensors that are in the device. Today, many smartphones have been equipped with this digital compass.

The advantage of this compass is that it is easy to understand and easy to use. Meanwhile, the only drawback is that it can’t be used if the battery runs out. If you need the compass for a long time and can’t charge the battery, do not use a digital compass.

Adjust the compass model to your needs

Each best compass for hiking has a variety of models. There are three general types of compasses of this type. Choose the compass model that suits your needs.

gps watch
GPS Watch

Ordinary compass, practical and easy to use

This is the simple compass that is most often found. Although the accuracy is not as high as a baseplate and lensatic compass, you can get this compass at an affordable price. In addition, this compass is also sufficient to meet the need to know the direction of the wind or the Qibla in your home. Some even use it to read feng shui when building a house.

This compass can also be carried very practically. You can make it a key chain or wear it like a necklace. However, to deal with the unexpected, when climbing a mountain for example, you should bring a baseplate or lensatic compass.

Baseplate compass, to read the map more accurately

The baseplate compass is a compass placed on a transparent scale board. Often referred to as the map compass, this compass is most often used when hiking or trekking.

There is a capsule ring that can rotate on a 360 degree scale. With this, you can know the direction of the destination with accuracy. Also, you can place it on the map because the base is transparent. You can also calculate the distance to your point of interest on the map with the scale written on this compass board.

Lensatic compass, can aim at the direction of the goal more accurately

This compass is often referred to as the aiming compass. One of the characteristics of the lensatic compass is that it is equipped with a magnifying lens and a cover. There is a small hole located on the cover of the compass. By looking at your destination from this hole, you will get an accurate direction of aim. The lens contained in this compass is used to see the small scale written in the compass to get more accurate results.

Previous use of the lensatic compass was only intended for military activities. However, now it is widely used by civil society to carry out various outdoor activities. This compass has the extraordinary ability to immediately find out your position when you get lost on a mountain. However, this compass is a little difficult to use if you are not used to it.

Which is the best hiking compass?

Although a compass has many types, not all of them have great features for hiking. So, when choosing the best compass, you also should choose based on:

Accuracy and speed: the greatest compass for hiking has a magnetized needle properly. It is capable to give you quickly stable directions. The compass speed may not matter even in good climatic or daylight. But, it is approaching when a trom or night helps you find the bearings fast. 

Durability: it is the most wonderful advantage that you actually should get when using the greatest hiking compass. If the compass is your main device of navigation, you exactly need the sturdy one. While you fiddle around with a map and compass, it is perfectly possible you may have many things on your hands. It is very high to meet a chance when you let your compass go accidentally. So, the best compass of hiking actually can survive well even a few drops without having big damage.

Features: The best compass for hiking has many great features which can help you get the most accurate distance and direction consistently. It may include features of convenience like clinometer, adjustment of declination, magnifier or features of accuracy-augmenting like sighting lens, sighting mirror, and the others.

Budget: Whatever compass of hiking you will invest in, basically, you must find the best value for your own money. Of course, the budget should fit with speed, accuracy, feature, and durability. 

Those are everything that you should know to get the best compass for hiking. 

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