ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING COMPASSESCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST HIKING COMPASSESHIKING COMPASSES REVIEWSSUUNTO A-10 FIELD COMPASSSUUNTO MC-2G NAVIGATOR COMPASSSILVA RANGER 515 COMPASSBRUNTON TRUARC 3 BASE PLATE COMPASSSILVA POLARIS BASEPLATE COMPASSSUUNTO M-9 WRIST COMPASSCELESTRON 48003 TREKGUIDEHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING COMPASSESANALOG VS. DIGITALDECLINATION ADJUSTMENTGLOBAL NEEDLESIGHTING MIRRORLUMINOSITY AND BACKLIGHTINGDURABILITY When you’re on a hike, a compass, map and navigational skills are some of the most important tools you can have at your disposal. A compass can tell you where you are and the best way to get to where you want to go. If you get lost on a trail, and you don’t have cell service or your GPS device dies, a compass and a map might be the things that ensures you make it home safe. But how do you know what’s the best hiking compass for you? One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to ticking of your hiking gear check list. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose a hiking compass and show you our selection of the best models of the year. For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Tents | Hammocks | Bivy Sacks | Tarps Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Pads | Stoves Backpacks | GPS | Headlamps | Poles| Watches Boots | Shoes | Sandals | Pants | Shorts Base Layers | Fleeces | Down Jackets | Rain Jackets QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING COMPASSES 1. SUUNTO A10 FIELD VIEW AT REI 2. SUUNTO MC 2G NAVIGATOR VIEW AT REI 3. SILVA RANGER VIEW AT AMAZON 4. BRUNTON TRUARC 3 VIEW AT REI 5. SUUNTO M-9 WRIST VIEW AT REI 6. SILVA POLARIS VIEW AT AMAZON 7. CELESTRON TREKGUIDE VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST HIKING COMPASSES PICTURECOMPASSANALOG/DIGITALDECLINATION ADJUSTMENTSIGHTING MIRRORPRICERATING PICTURECOMPASSANALOG/DIGITALDECLINATION ADJUSTMENTSIGHTING MIRRORPRICERATING Suunto A10 FieldAnalogNoNo$4.6 Sunnto MC 2G NavigatorAnalogYesYes$$4.5 Silva Ranger 515 CompassAnalogYesYes$$4.5 Brunton TruArc 3AnalogYesNo$4.4 Silva Polaris Baseplate CompassAnalogNoNo$4.4 Suunto M9 WristAnalogNoNo$3.8 Celestron 48003 TrekGuideDigitalYesNo$$3.4 MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails. HIKING COMPASSES REVIEWS SUUNTO A-10 FIELD COMPASS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Basic navigating and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Analog DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: No SIGHTING MIRROR: No PROS: Base plate with straight edge for map reading, waterproof CONS: Doesn’t have global needle, fixed declination scale, non-luminous, bubbles may develop in liquid SUUNTO MC-2G NAVIGATOR COMPASS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Advanced navigation and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Analog DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: Yes SIGHTING MIRROR: Yes PROS: Base plate with magnifying lens, straight edge, and inch markings for map reading, global needle, adjustment key included on lanyard, bezel reads in two degree increments, luminous outer ring CONS: Numbers rub off of the bezel after regular use, cover isn’t durable enough for heavy use, luminous outer ring doesn’t stay illuminated for very long, tool needed for declination adjustment SILVA RANGER 515 COMPASS Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Advanced navigating and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Analog DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: Yes SIGHTING MIRROR: Yes PROS: Luminous points for easy reading; silicon map grippers; adjustment key included on lanyard, clinometer, rotary bezel, base plate with three scales, magnifying lens, and straight edge for map reading CONS: Tool needed for declination adjustment, doesn’t have global needle, bubbles may develop in liquid BRUNTON TRUARC 3 BASE PLATE COMPASS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Advanced navigation and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Analog DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: Yes SIGHTING MIRROR: No PROS: Tool free declination adjustment, metric and standard scales, responsive needle, easy to hold, inexpensive, global needle, rotary bezel, baseplate with straight edge and inch markings for map reading CONS: Non-luminous, declination marks are difficult to see SILVA POLARIS BASEPLATE COMPASS Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Basic navigating and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Analog DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: No SIGHTING MIRROR: No PROS: Red and black orientation lines, large sighting arrow, rotary bezel, inexpensive, easy to use, baseplate with straight edge and inch markings for map reading CONS: No declination adjustment, bubbles may appear in liquid, not durable enough, doesn’t have a global needle, non-luminous SUUNTO M-9 WRIST COMPASS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Basic navigating and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Analog DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: No SIGHTING MIRROR: No PROS: Can be read from the top or the side, sighting notch and reading window, wrist strap fits wide range of sizes, can be removed from supplied band and placed on another wristband, housing can turn for direction setting, water resistant, luminous face CONS: Must be kept very level to get accurate reading, doesn’t have a global needle, can be slow to orient, wristband might be too large for small wrists CELESTRON 48003 TREKGUIDE Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: General navigating and orienting ANALOG OR DIGITAL?: Digital DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT: Yes SIGHTING MIRROR: No PROS: Delivers information on temperature, altitude, barometric pressure, clock, calendar, and alarm functionality, backlit display, water-resistant, bubble level, lithium battery CONS: Difficult to set some functions, battery operated, no on/off button to save battery life LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSE HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING COMPASSES ANALOG VS. DIGITAL Digital compasses come with lots of extra bells and whistles and are a common feature on hiking watches. But are they the right device for you? Digital compasses are battery powered. You’ll need to be prepared to either change or charge the batteries. If you forget to bring your batteries or portable charger with you, then your device could fail. This could leave you without a navigation tool right when you need it most. Analog devices have no external power source. You can store an analog compass for months (or even years!), and it will still work. With an analog compass, you have the benefit of not worrying that it will run out of power when you’re in a jam. DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT When navigating, you must be aware of “true north” and “magnetic north.” True north is the direction to the geographic North Pole. Magnetic north is the direction to the magnetic North Pole. Declination is an angle that measures the difference in degrees between these two points. Declination is not a fixed number. This angle changes based on your location and can vary from year to year. What does this mean? Even if you’re facing true north, your compass needle may point several degrees east or west towards magnetic north. For short treks, this may not make a difference in your navigation. However, for long journeys, ignoring declination could send you many miles off route. Compasses equipped with a declination adjustment function can easily account for these changes. How? By adding or subtracting declination from the compass bearing. Once you make the adjustment, you can safely navigate without continuously calculating the declination. GLOBAL NEEDLE Not every analog compass can work anywhere in the world. Many compasses are calibrated for the magnetic variance in a particular hemisphere. Take a U.S. calibrated compass to Australia, and you’ll see that its needle drags and sticks. If you plan to use your compass while traveling around the world, then look for one with a global needle. Global needles are designed to account for the changes in magnetic variances. These compasses perform successfully no matter where in the world you end up on a trail. SIGHTING MIRROR A sighting mirror lets you view your compass and your surroundings simultaneously. This feature makes compass readings more accurate and is ideal for advanced navigation. As a bonus, the mirror can be used as a signal in an emergency situation. LUMINOSITY AND BACKLIGHTING Will you be navigating at night? If the answer is yes, you’ll need to be able to see your compass in the dark. Look for models that are backlit or have luminous features on the face of the compass. These functions will allow you to see your compass without constantly using a flashlight. DURABILITY Your compass is an essential line of defense against getting lost on a hike. If it breaks right when you need it, you could find yourself trapped in an unsafe situation. Whether you’re hiking in high altitudes or inclement weather, you need a compass that lasts. Be sure to select a model that’s durable enough to withstand whatever comes your way. Looking for more ways to find your route while hiking? Make sure to check out the Hiking GPS 101 for information on how to find the best GPS unit for your hike. HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.