Silva Compass: Stay Safe During Your Adventures - aLittleBitOfAll
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Silva Compass: Stay Safe During Your Adventures


Silva Compass: Stay Safe During Your Adventures

If you are a hiker, hunter, backpacker, survivalist, or any other type of avid outdoors person, you are probably well acquainted with the importance of knowing and safely navigating the territory. For this reason, supplying yourself with the right hiking equipment when adventuring outside can make a world of difference in your experience.

Having a good compass is essential. Even though you may be tempted to think that GPS is much more accurate and convenient to use – if the signal drops or the batteries die you may completely lose track of your trail. Therefore, there is nothing more reliable than a good old-fashioned compass. However, compasses aren’t one-size-fits-all. Different types of compasses serve the same function – navigation, but some of them offer much better accuracy due to their high-end features.

The Silva brand offers a wide selection of durable, high-performance compasses that ensure accurate navigation whether you are on land or at sea. From simple designs to more intricate, complex designs these compasses are must-have items for any serious hiker, backpacker, camper, hunter and similar.

Best Silva Ranger Compasses

Silva Ranger S

If you are looking for a basic yet functional compass, the Silva Ranger compass should be your very first choice. It is filled with liquid, has a rotating bezel, luminous points as well as a sighting mirror which is perfect when deciding to trek long distances.


This compass has a base plate map-measuring in mm and scales of 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. Moreover, it offers the additional benefit of 45-degree angle assistance on its mirror sighting function. This Silva Ranger compass also features a Dry Flex grip for easy handling which comes with a declination adjustment scale inside the capsule.

The lanyard is soft and bendable and easy to place directly on to your route on the map. The new updated graphic contains a distinct arrow and a more contemporary font. The colours can also change from green to black to harmonize with the outdoor environment. Thanks to the magnifier you can see every colour on the map. The Silva Ranger Compas S is perfect for those who want reliable navigation without too many advanced features.

Silva Ranger SL

The Silva Ranger SL is a small compass, ideal as a reserve or an “always packed” compass. You can simply attach it to your jacket with a safety pin, thereby allowing hands-free navigation. The Ranger SL features a built-in sundial that helps you to see what time is by judging the position of the sun. It also has a rotatable compass housing which enables easy navigation using the Silva 1-2-3 technique.

Its mirror sighting feature makes it perfect for determining the direction over long distances. As it is equipped with luminescent indicators this device can be easily used in dark. Made from a robust material that can withstand tough treatment and conditions this compass offers high functionality and is highly popular among many outdoor enthusiasts.


Global Ranger

The Global Ranger high-performance Silva compass features a simplistic and easy to handle design suitable for all your outdoor adventures. When it comes to features, you won’t be disappointed. This popular compass is equipped with a global needle so that it can work in all compass zones. The needle is made from the finest Swedish steel with high-quality magnetic features.

The Global Ranger has a base plate map measuring in mm and scales of 1:25, 1:50k. It also features a DryFlex rubber bezel for improved comfort and grip and a detachable safety-release lanyard which makes it easy to quickly make a distance judgment or to plan your route in advance.

Features to Look For in a Good Compass

Declination Adjustment

Declination represents the difference in degrees between the true north and the magnetic north. Anyone learning navigation is probably already familiar with the term magnetic declination. Because declination varies depending on where you are on the planet, it’s important to have adjustable declination. Whenever you are headed to a new place or location you can simply adjust or reset your compass declination for that area.

This is why it’s always important to use a map when you are in unfamiliar territory, especially when trekking long distances. Having a compass with adjustable declination will allow you to rotate the orienting arrow independently of the compass dial.



The clinometer indicator is usually shaped like an arrow and moves freely inside the liquid suspension as the magnetized needle. Clinometers measure the vertical angle of a slope and it’s mostly used by serious mountain climbers or skiers when they want to determine how steep a mountain is or if there is any risk of an avalanche encounter on their journey. This feature is usually found in higher-end compasses. However, not all compasses have clinometers as this feature is specific to a compass brand.

High-Resolution Bezel

The compass bezel is the rotating ring wrapped around the entire compass capsule, usually marked in degrees (0-359) or compass points. The best bezels have markings for every degree or half-degree. When you are headed toward the desired location, to get from point A to point B you just need to set the bezel marker, take a bearing, and rotate the needle in the exact direction you want to go. You just need to make sure that the compass needle is aligned with the magnetic north.

Luminescent Indicators

Navigating outdoors in the dark can be exciting and at the same time challenging especially if you are having trouble seeing the indicators on your compass. While using a headlamp or flashlight is always a good option, luminescent indicators can help you navigate and read your compass without any additional equipment.

There are two types of luminescent indicators available: phosphorescent lights and tritium microlights. Although none of them requires an externals source of power, the phosphorescent light needs to be exposed to light in order to be charged and therefore used in low visibility conditions. Unlike the phosphorescent lights, the tritium microlights stay illuminated at all times without needing to be charged or recharged. These are the most common military personnel accessories who need a high-precision compass with the highest level of visibility and function.



Since compasses are mostly used in outdoor environments their design should be able to withstand different weather conditions. This includes water, heat, cold, dirt, or any encountering another environmental challenge. Not having adequate weatherproof features, the fluid-filled needle can freeze or form bubbles which can interfere with the needle’s function and accuracy.

Stephanie Tierney