Reviewed by Robert Camp
One of the essentials of any survival kit should be some form of
navigational aid, usually a compass. During the last thirty five years of outdoor guiding, I’ve used four different compasses by three different manufacturers. The most recent being a K&R compass by Kasper and Richter of Germany, which I purchased two years ago on Amazon.com. By far, it has been the best.
This professional grade compass is made to take abuse and keep on ticking. Mine has performed flawlessly with over 200 days of outdoor use to date. I have used it in the rain, snow, dust, dirt, mud, ice and desert heat, in temperatures ranging from -5°F to 103°F, with nothing less than consistent and flawless performance. The only maintenance I have done is to wash the compass off, dry it and keep it stored in a soft Cordura case.
The materials and construction of this compass make it a true precision instrument. I particularly like the wide neck lanyard with quick release, especially when operating with lots of gear on my torso like during a rescue or when dressed in cold weather gear. It allows me to keep the compass secured to me – hands free – as I move, with the option of using it freed from the lanyard for better map/compass combination readings as well as difficult sighting situations. Additionally, the size of the cover, baseplate and bezel make it easy to use with gloves on.
The K&R Aplin compass has these great features:
• Adjustable declination
• Triple sighting system
• Unbreakable polished aluminum sighting mirror
• Fluid filled dampening
• Thermo-elastic capsule for durable bubble-free performance
• Integrated clinometer (0-90 deg; 1 deg resolution)
• Transparent baseplate with rubber feet
• 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 map scales
• Degrees/percent conversion table
• Luminescent bezel and navigation points
• 0-360 degree azimuth scale (2 degree resolution)
• Cm and inch ruler
• Magnifying lens
• Cut-outs for map marking
• Comfortably wide neck lanyard with release
This compass measures 2.5″ x 4.3″ and weights only 2.5 oz. making it
compact and light weight enough for your survival kit as well as a great compass to take on any outdoor activity.
The K&R Alpin compass is not the least expensive compass in its class, retailing for $73.05 on Amazon. But in this case, you truly get what you pay for. If you are looking for a rugged, dependable compass that will perform consistently under a wide variety of difficult environmental conditions, I highly recommend the K&R Alpin compass as a great addition to your survival and outdoor gear.