Because GPS navigation devices are so common in today's world, compass navigation is becoming more and more of a 'lost art'. Even reading a simple street map is incomprehensible to a lot of people. It's impossible to argue with the convenience of the GPS- they allow us to navigate very precisely with very little effort, which frees us up to enjoy the journey a little more. They also simplify route planning immensely. But what if they fail?... we'd better have a backup! GPS could never fail, though, right? Actually, there are a lot of instances in which a GPS might not work.
Our friends at Kifaru International (makers of outstanding packs and gear, designed by Patrick Smith) have a series of articles on compass navigation. The M-73 compass is highlighted in the articles, and there's a lot of talk about it on their forums; they're serious back country people who know the importance of top quality equipment. Check out the articles- and their gear.
The M-73 Liquid Prismatic Compass is, simply stated, the best handheld compass in the world. It's incredibly precise, unbelievably tough, and nice looking enough to qualify as a work of art. It makes an outstanding gift for: departing leaders; newly commissioned officers or NCOs; graduates (Ranger School, Q-Course, BUD/S, OCS, Sniper School, etc.). The bottom of the compass can be engraved.
When your life is hanging in the balance, you need the best! This compass, a standard NATO inventory item, is specified by the SAS and other elements of the British Army and is designed for survival use.
The M-88 Liquid Prismatic Compass is built to the same exacting standards as the M-73, but is made from aluminum alloy to reduce weight and cost.