Suunto Global Compass

The Suunto Global Compass is the ultimate compass for adventurers and explorers. These sighting compasses offer precision navigation with a variety of carefully engineered and dependable features for challenging conditions. At high elevations other compasses will develop bubbles, which will affect accuracy. The Suunto Global Compass works reliably at high altitudes. It also has a clinometer to help you determine the slope, which is helpful to adjust your pace count or determine hazardous avalanche areas in the backcountry. If your compass is not quite level while taking a reading, the arrow continues to point north. This is particularly helpful if you are trying to take a reading with the clinometer while trying to maintain a bearing. Other compasses that rely on a sighting lens that magnifies the angle can cause parallax, which can reduce the accuracy by 3°. A reliable compass is essential for navigating and surviving in extreme conditions, and these hardy baseplate compasses are ready for the challenge.

An interesting detail is that not all compasses work globally. Most inexpensive compasses are specific to the northern- or southern-hemisphere. This has to do with the fact that the magnetic field lines, to which a compass needle aligns, point into the earth at the north and south magnetic poles. In the northern hemisphere the north end of the needle is pulled downwards, and the south end is counterweighted to balance the needle. When you use a northern hemisphere compass in, say, Australia, the south end of the magnet is pulled downwards by the magnetic field, and is also heavier than the north end - resulting in a needle that catches and drags on the bottom of the compass housing when the compass is held horizontal. The Suunto Global Compass works in both hemispheres.

Suunto Global Compasses have a declination adjustment, which allows them to be adjusted for the Grid Magnetic (GM) angle in your area. A compass needle points to magnetic north, not true north. This difference is known as "magnetic declination" or GM angle. An adjustable declination arrow lets you preset this value, which simplifies navigation. First find the GM angle for the location you will be orienteering in by reading our North on the Run article. Make your adjustments by aligning North on the bezel with the triangle on the baseplate, and then turn the compass over and adjust the small screw on the bezel with the lanyard key using a separate scale marked on the reverse side of the bezel. This accurately sets your current declination to within two degrees, and virtually eliminates the need to remember mnemonics and perform calculations in the field.

If you want a compass that will work globally and has zero chance of freezing, we recommend the Cammenga Lensatic Compass. It is heavier, but it is truly bomb proof - making it the top pick of the US military. Also, read the Ultimate Map Tools article to learn how to print your own topographic maps for free.

  • Clinometer
  • Jewel bearing
  • Luminous two-color bezel ring
  • Adjustable declination correction scale
  • Comes with a declination adjustment key



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