One of the go-to survival items that everyone thinks about is a compass. However, not everyone knows how to use them, and even fewer people actually own one. It’s very important that you get familiar with using your compass by getting some practice using it to find your way to and from places.
A compass is fairly simple to use, but it’s easy to use them wrong if you’re not familiar with them. A compass can help you navigate to a water source or to civilization if you can use it properly with a map.
The Silva Ranger 515 compass is an extremely reliable compass that will provide the best accuracy possible in all conditions. Unlike your phone or another digital compass, a standard compass has no electronics in it, so it’s entirely waterproof and extremely durable. The compass glows at night so you can use it 24/7, even when it’s dark. On either side of the compass there are little rulers in both metric and imperial units. There’s also a distance measurer for maps so you can tell how far you’ll have to walk. For hard to read maps or older compass users, there’s a map magnifier that lets you read the tiniest details of your map.
A great multi-purpose compass is the A2S Paracord Bracelet. It’s a high quality, durable multi tool. In addition to the accurate, durable compass, it has a fire starter, emergency whistle, and some tinder. It’s made of 550 paracord, which is extremely strong. Unraveled, this bracelet is 12 feet of paracord, which can be used to create snares or clothing lines. The whistle can be used to signal for help on the ground, and it makes noise up to 100 dB. Wrapped up inside of the bracelet is some finer sized string, which can be used for fishing line and more importantly, tinder.
Using a compass is generally fairly simple. The red end of the compass needle, which is the part in the middle of it that spins, points north. Spin yourself around, compass in hand, until the red end of the compass needle is pointing directly at the N, denoting north, on your compass. At this point, you’ll know you’re facing north.
From there, you’ll know that if you turn left, you’ll be facing west, and if you turn right, you’ll be facing east. So if you explore straight east from your campsite, you’ll know how to get back by realigning yourself and facing west.
How to Navigate Without a Compass
If you find yourself lost without a compass, you can still get your general directions using the stars.
Find the Big Dipper constellation in the night sky. The two stars that make up the front of the dipper point toward the North Star, the bright star roughly four times the distance between the two stars that line it up. The North Star is stationary in the sky, while other constellations rotate around it. So, it’s always due north.