Compass Hints for Wilderness Navigation

Really Learn to Use a Magnetic Compass in the Wilderness

On the Mountains Mistakes are Fatal. — Mark Udall

Improve Your Use of a Magnetic Compass

Using a Magnetic Compass in the Wildernesss

To become a Good Wilderness Navigator you must learn to always Trust Your Compass. Everyone in a Group or Party Must Carry a Compass to ensure that if separated each Member of the Group can still Navigate. The Compass is not only a Critical Survival Item but is also a Critical Navigation Tool in the Navigators Tool Belt.

Would you Trust your Life to a poor quality Rope? Not very likely, so Purchase a Quality Liquid-filled, clear base plated Sighting Compass with adjustable Declination. A Romer on the base plate is also a good idea and comes with nearly all quality compasses. Quality compass is manufactured for a particular region of the world, make sure you only a compass made for the region you are in.

If you are looking for a quality Magnetic Compass in Canada today you have two choices: 1) Suunto MC2 360 which is a decent quality compass and balanced for anywhere in the world. It is also available nearly everywhere compasses are sold. 2) Silva Expedition 15 TDCL 360 which is not sold in Canada and you will need to order one from the UK or Ireland. The Silva Compasses sold in North America are not manufactured by the actual Silva, AG from Sweden, but by Johnson Outdoors and are pale cousins of the real thing. The real Silva Type 15 Compass is the Compass I highly recommend and use every day in the Wilderness of Canada, even if ordering it is a bit of a pain.

Hints for Using a Magnetic Compass

Don't Leave Home without a Quality Liquid-Filled Sighting Compass

Article by (, Updated 11th March 2020)
Chief Instructor of the Boreal Wilderness Institute