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A Review of the Top 3 Survival Compasses to Guide You In the Right Direction

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In today’s era of technology and GPS navigation, survival compasses has somewhat become obsolete. Many outdoor adventurers today don’t even have any idea on how to use the survival compass. This is also the main reason why many adventure survivalists don’t even bother adding traditional survival compasses in their survival tool kits. While it is true that GPS’s are exceptionally handy and are the best tools to be used in today’s navigation system, it is still a plus if you learn how to navigate your way out of a survival situation by using the old fashioned way: using survival compasses and maps.

When you love the great outdoors and survival adventure is your thing, it is a must that you always include a survival compass in your survival tool kit. It will serve as a back-up to your GPS. With a survival compass readily available inside your backpack, you will always have a sense of direction in your navigation. Knowing how to use a survival compass and a map is a very important survival skill not only for outdoor adventurers but for everyone as well.

So if you are looking for a survival compass that you want to add in your survival toolkit, then, here are 3 of the best and widely used survival compasses that are being offered in the market today. Though there are practically tons of survival compasses out there, these 3 are widely regarded as the best of the best by the thousands of people who have already purchased and tried these survival compasses.

  1. Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass By: Cammenga ($58.80)

Product Description

  • Shockproof, damage-resistant design.
  • Waterproof to considerable depths.
  • Sandproof for extra durability.
  • Accuracy +/- 40 mils.
  • Uncompromised by temperature changes due to its non-liquid filled needle housing.
  • Uses a copper induction-damping ring that slows, settles and steadies the compass needle quickly.
  • Constructed with a powder-coated, aluminum frame for optimal endurance.
  • Proudly made with the highest quality in the U.S.A
  • Lanyard: Colors (Body): Olive Drab
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3 inches
  • Shipping Weight:4 ounce

Review on the Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass

If you are in need of durable directional instrument, then the Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is for you. Best for hiking, mountaineering, trekking, forestry, hunting, and any survival activities, the Phosphorescent compass is the perfect navigation tool to be used most especially when GPS signal is not available.

The Phosphorescent compass was designed just like the CMMG compass that the U.S. Armed Forces has been using for decades. The only difference is that the Phosphorescent compass uses Phosphorescent paint instead of the self-luminous tritium that the US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass uses. The Phosphorescent compass is equipped with a magnifier, ruler, and clinometer. But unlike the Tritium Lensatic Compass, this doesn’t come with a mirror. So, expect that you will have some small irregularities when you use this survival compass.

The Phosphorescent compass is also not liquid filled. This means that the needle of the compass will settle longer compared to those liquid filled survival compasses. The good news is, the Phosphorescent compass is equipped with a copper induction damping system that slows the rotation of the needle. While it is a bit heavy for a survival compass, in terms of durability, the Phosphorescent compass is basically indestructible. It can withstand any weather conditions and it is still a great navigational tool to add in your survival toolkit.

Pros and Cons


  • Durable
  • Shock, water, and sand resistant
  • Equipped with copper induction system
  • Easy to use


  • A little bit heavy
  • Accuracy is an issue


All in all, the Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is still one of the best survival compasses in the market today. Even with its weaknesses, this survival compass is still better than most of the other survival compasses that are being used today. And one great thing about this survival compass is that it can be either carried clipped securely to your belt while you walk or in its own carrying pouch.

  1. CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass By: Cammenga  ($67.75)

Product Description:

  • Touted as the World’s Number 1 Military Compass
  • Built to demanding specifications
  • Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass Box
  • Carrying Pouch (LC-1 w/Belt Clip- Lanyard ) & Belt Clip
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Shipping Weight:2 ounces
  • Battle tested through rigorous shock, water, sand proof, and functional from -50o F to +150o F.
  • Seven Tritium Micro Lights allow for navigation in low-light conditions, without the need for a flashlight
  • Tritium Micro Lights remain luminous for over twelve years
  • Frame Materials: Cast Aluminum
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Accuracy: +/- 0002 mils
  • Dial Readings: Degrees & mils

Review on the CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass 

If you want a survival compass that’s built to last and has been proven tested in all sorts of various survival conditions, then, the CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass is what you’re looking for. The CMMG is a true survival compass in every sense of the word. It has also been the official survival compass of the U.S. Military for decades now. The CMMG has a shock, water, and sand proof properties and it can function even in the most extreme environment conditions. The CMMG is also equipped with micro lights that can remain fully luminous for over a dozen years as well as sight wire, dial graduations on both degrees, and a magnifying glass to give you the most accurate readings possible.

Pros and Cons


  • Easy to read and has a clear sight
  • It can be used in extreme temperatures
  • Battle tested through rigorous shock, water, and sand
  • Older people with poor night vision can read it well during the night
  • The olive drab pouch is very cool with US military block letters


  • It is heavy
  • The compass has an issue with the lock mechanism
  • It does not perform very well even after operating under a bright lamp and then taking it into a dark room


In a nutshell, the CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass is a tool that should always be in one’s survival tool kit. It is well designed, passed all the rigorous tests it was subjected upon and positively reviewed by thousands of people who have purchased and  used the product around the world.

  1. SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic/Prismatic Sighting Compass with Pouch By: SE ($10.71)

Product Description:

  • Thermo-elastic liquid-filled capsule with floating dial
  • Rotating bezel ring
  • Ruler units on the sides measuring inches & centimeters
  • Built-in bubble level
  • Folding thumb ring
  • Tripod screw hole on base
  • Adjustable diopter sighting lens
  • Sighting lines on cover
  • Conversion chart for angle, gradient & distance on back plate
  • Heavy-duty digital camouflage print cover
  • 36” lanyard
  • Water-resistant nylon pouch
  • Closed dimensions: 3-3/8” x 1-1/4” x 2-1/2”
  • Face diameter: 2-1/8” (marked in 5-degree increments)
  • 1/4″ Sighting lens & sighting lines on cover

Review on the SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic/Prismatic Sighting Compass with Pouch

The SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic Compass is described by most outdoor adventurers as one of the best survival compasses especially in terms of digital camouflage print in the market today. Made from a thermo-elastic liquid capsule complimented by a floating dial, the SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic Compass is a sight to behold. The design of the product was beautifully crafted and the size, weight, and market price of this survival compass is truly an ideal fit for outdoor survival enthusiasts.

The SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic Compass comes with different features that make it unique and different from all the other survival compasses out there. The rotating bezel ring of this compass is one such unique feature. There are also 2 different scales of measurement that you can use when you are using this compass: Centimeter scale and inches scale. Each of these ruler units are placed on either side of the bezel. That’s not all, the SE CC4580 survival compass also comes with designed conversion chart for gradient, distance, and angles. Plus just for your convenience, it also has a built-in bubble ring.

The cover design of the SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic Compass comes with well-directed sighting lines. It has an adjustable diopter sighting lens and a 36″ size lanyard. It has a total weight of only 3.7 ounces making it one of the lightest survival compass in the market today.

Pros and Cons


  • Adjustable diopter sighting lens, sighting window and sighting lines
  • Rulers on both sides
  • Built-in bubble level
  • Comes with a carry pouch
  • Folding thumb ring
  • Lanyard
  • Tripod screw hole on base
  • Affordable
  • Durable


  • No way to handle declination
  • The sighting aperture is not adjustable


There is nothing much to say about this survival compass except that this tool proves to be very effective and would be a great addition to one’s survival tool kit. It can be used in all sorts of weather conditions and terrain. And to top it all, the price of the SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic Compass is a bargain.

Final Word

All three of the survival compasses reviewed in this article are great survival compasses in their own way. All three have their own flaws, but overall, they are still the three best survival compasses being used by most outdoor adventurers today. All three survival compasses are not only reliable, dependable, and easy to use but most of all, each individual survival compass has a fairly affordable tag price.


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