I’ll freely admit that, when I bought this compass, I had no idea whatsoever what all the measurements and symbols written on it were. It had been a couple of decades since I’d needed to use a compass in anger and the knowledge had leaked out of my head in a foggy beer cloud at some point.
So I sat down with an OS map, a handbook on navigation and the Silva 4/54 and set about re-learning.
A couple of months and many hikes later I’m smugly pleased with myself for buying what turns out to be a top-end compass with all the features I could conceivably ever need.
A brief run through the features:
- Tritium (radioactive) paint on the important parts, so you can still tell where you’re going in pitch black
- A measurement scale for 1:25000, 1:50000 and 1:63000 scale maps (OS Explorer, Landranger, inch-to-mile maps)
- A very easy to read dial
- A needle which is quick to locate, and doesn’t wobble around
- A nice long baseplate, to make triangulating positions easier
- A lanyard
- Silicone rubber ‘feet’ to grip maps
- CM and Inch scale rulers
- Magnifying glass, for making out small details on maps and burning ants when bored