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Recommend me a good precision compass.

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by BigMonster, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. BigMonster

    BigMonster Full Member

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    Hi guys.
    I have a thing for compasses and fancy something decent for Christmas.
    For outdoor use I have Suunto MC-2 G, I'm also covered in the survival tin/gadget department.

    I'm after something with more precision and less wobbly, I like the sighting system of Suunto KB-20 but you can't really use it on the map:
    https://www.suunto.com/en-gb/Products/Compasses/Suunto-KB-20/Suunto-KB-20360RG/

    I know sky is the limit but it would be nice to get something decent under £150.

    Thank you for any advice.
     
  2. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Get into the archives of the American magazine = "Field & Stream."
    Every year, F&S runs a work-over of outdoor equipment that they call the "Best of the Best."
    They beat the bejeezlies out of everything that they get sent, gratis, from the makers.
    That's the reason I bought a Brunton Eclipse 8066 compass.
    I have a Recta Prospector (steel case) from 1965 that grew a huge bubble = retired.

    Mind you now, I have not bothered to look any further in all the years since I bought that one.
    Maybe 1995 or so? I'm not hard on kit so I expect it to out live me.
     
  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    There are different types of compasses. The simpler flat ones, and the slightly more complex ones with a mirror. The ones with a mirror protect the compass a bit more.
    Functionally the same in real life.

    Check out Silva Ranger or Expedition series.

    Brunton is owned by Silva and does not export to Europe.

    I expect Silva and Suunto to be equal in quality

    Note that US compasses are not Metric.
     
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  4. Snufkin

    Snufkin Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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  5. baggins

    baggins Full Member

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    How accurate do you want to be? Most regular base plate compasses are ideal for use in the UK, as we are generally doing micro navigation, so .5 of a degree over a mile isn't going to make too much of a difference. If you want to get more accurate over a larger distance, then a sighting compass (like the silva expedition mirror models) will improve your bearings, but not as easy to use in conjunction with a map, although easier than the Suunto. The Bruentons are fabulous but, unless you are surveying, way overkill in my mind (i'd still love one though, lol!).
     
  6. BigMonster

    BigMonster Full Member

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    Like I said in the original post, I have the Suunto MC-2 Global which is sighting baseplate compass with mirror. And it's fine for bushwacking.

    I'm after something "nice" and definitely an overkill for outdoor navigation. I like the suunto kb-14 but it doesn't have any sighting bits on it, Suunto kb-20 have no declination.

    So something "surveyor grade" to satisfy my inner geek and my thing for compasses :)
     
  7. Wayland

    Wayland Hárbarðr

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    A traveler of both time and space
    Robson Valley and BigMonster like this.
  8. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    You can not go wrong with any of the two quality brands, ( Silva or Suunto. Brunton is a Silva brand) if you choose between the top-of-the-line models.
     
  9. Riven

    Riven Full Member

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    How about a Cammenga 3H.
    Accurate and bombproof.
     
  10. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Actually it’s more complicated than that. Because of a court fight over copyright a decade or two ago, the Silva name in North America became property of Johnson Outdoors. What we’re sold here under the Silva name aren’t true Silva products (they’re rebadged Bruntons) However In the UK and Europe they still have the real Silvas.

    For this reason, RV’s advice about the old Field & Stream articles might be misleading (they review gear available on our side of the pond and the items might be different from those with the same name over there)
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Corporate BS that makes our lives difficult...

    If a European wants a proper beer in the US and orders a Budweiser he is in for a shock.........
    A totally different beverage than the 'Brew of the Gods' with the same name in Europe.

    But in my experience, any compass from a decent company works very well, better and with more accurancy than the average user.

    Navigation is a combination of mainly map reading with some help of an compass.
     
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