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The Best Pocket Compasses For Your Outdoor Adventures

Updated on November 30, 2010

Compasses are very handy little devices that make navigation through an area easier, especially if you don’t really know the regions. One misconception some people get is that compasses can point the way home. If that’s how you think of it, you’ll be very disappointed because that’s not how a compass works. While trekking or boating, I use a compass along with a map to help me know if I’m heading towards the right direction. For example if the map shows that my destination is located East, I’ll just check my compass to see if I’m really heading that way. A compass won’t tell you exactly at what direction to turn to get home but it’s one of the most useful and valuable devices for any outdoorsman yet.

Pocket compasses are some of the most convenient devices because they are lightweight and because they are small enough to fit – where else? – your pocket. There are basically three kinds of them – two if you don’t consider accessory compasses to be hardy enough for the rough outdoors. The other two are the basic pocket compass and the specialized pocket compass. Basic pocket compasses are those most commonly used by backpackers while specialized pocket compasses are for those who travel off-trail a lot because of its added features such as mirrors, magnifying glasses, and clinometers that help a lot in emergency situations. If you’re planning to get a good pocket compass whether for yourself or a gift for someone who loves exploring the outdoors, here are some elegant and useful pocket compasses.

Brunton Gentleman's Compass
Brunton Gentleman's Compass

Brunton Gentleman's Compass

This pocket compass is ultimately sleek and stylish with its intricate designs and dazzling appearance but this one is more than just a pretty face. This one comes form one of the most respected names when it comes to high quality compasses. This pocket compass was made after the original DW Brunton design and is made of milled aluminum. It features a mirror underneath the swivel lid and classic cardinal directions. This compass also has a metal loop for attaching to your belt chain or for putting it around your neck. This compass is very durable and is guaranteed to function smoothly; you can also lift the arm to lengthen its life and stop needle movement. This beautiful device is great for explorers with class and you can also have it engraved with its spare space for personalization.

Pocket Compass by Red Envelope
Pocket Compass by Red Envelope

Pocket Compass by Red Envelope

A pocket compass need not always look rugged just to e considered fit for the Great Outdoors, it can also reflect the user’s taste and sense of style. Take this elegant pocket compass from Red Envelope for example: it comes in a brilliant silver casing with a metal loop which allows you to chain it to your belt to secure it in your pocket or wear it like a locket. The compass really works and features clear markings that make for easy reading whether you’re on the road or off-trail. It has a very durable glass that will resist scratching so it stays looking new. This pocket compass also has a stylish old map design beneath the cover in the interior that gives it additional charm. This will surely make a great and stylish gift for yourself or for your loved ones.

(Price/piece)(Price/piece) Precise Small Elegant Pocket Compass, Clearance Sale!
(Price/piece)(Price/piece) Precise Small Elegant Pocket Compass, Clearance Sale!

(Price/piece)(Price/piece) Precise Small Elegant Pocket Compass, Clearance Sale!

If you’re looking for a compass with a simple, no-nonsense design, then you must like this pocket compass that has a simple beauty of its own. It’s a black compass with vivid white markings encased in shiny, silver aluminum and covered by tough and crystal clear glass. It has a metal loop too so you can chain it to your belt or backpack or wear it around your neck. It has a 1.5-inch dial and markings in intervals of 20. Although it comes at such a cheap price that may arouse suspicion and raise some eyebrows, this pocket compass really works. You can get it for under a dollar only and it’s guaranteed to be accurate. These are great as beginner compasses for scouts as well as handy tools for occasional backpackers.

Sterling Silver Compass Rose Locket with Working Compass
Sterling Silver Compass Rose Locket with Working Compass

Sterling Silver Compass Rose Locket with Working Compass

This gorgeous pocket compass from Stanley London is the perfect combination of style and functionality. It’s a real working miniature compass enclosed in 92% pure sterling silver and it comes with a matching silver chain too. The compass measures 16mm in diameter, 9.39mm thick and features large, clear markings. Covering it is a delicate and elegant rose motif that will surely spark the imagination of anyone. The whole locket measures18.54mm in diameter and weighs 7.5 grams and comes in hinged gift box and you can get the silver chain at a length of 17.5 inches or 19.5 inches. You can also use this pocket compass as a pendant for other chains you have. This pocket is the perfect gift for extra special occasions.

430 Unlidded Pocket Compass (1 Compass)
430 Unlidded Pocket Compass (1 Compass)

430 Unlidded Pocket Compass (1 Compass)

A compass is made to tell directions and that’s what this convenient pocket compass does very well with its large and clear letters and numbers. It does not have a lid but it’s covered by a tough, solid glass and it’s encased in sturdy aluminum. It measures just about 1.5 inches in diameter which makes it very easy to store in your pocket or keep it on a lanyard. It comes with a metal loop that allows you to secure it to your belt or around your neck. This device is great for those who love to go trekking or boating even after dark because it has a glow-in-the-dark feature that allows you to use it easily even without a flashlight.


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