Brunton 58 Kayak
3.4 in x 3.4 in x 2 in
A standard for kayak navigation. Hands-free orientation…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40
A standard for kayak navigation.
- easy to use
Hands-free orientation is a must when kayaking, so forget the hand-held compasses used for hiking. Also, I wouldn't bother with a lighted compass...it is one more thing that can break and is not needed if you just use a headlamp.
This is the perfect size, is easy to read, accurate, functional, and simple. I may eventually get the mounted version but the portability results in many benefits too. If kayaks are stored outside, the compass can be removed and stored inside to protect it from damage. It can also remain protected during transport of your kayak. It can also be transferred from one boat to another (if you have multiple boats), saving you money. Finally, I don't always need a compass (short, local, familiar trips) so this stays protected in a case, extending the lifespan for when I do need it.
I have used this compass on several week-long trips in the Everglades. In conjunction with charts, I barely needed my GPS. In a long crossing situation, I use the GPS to take a bearing, and then trust in the compass to maintain my course. This is what sailors have relied on for hundreds of years.
A good compass is just as important, if not more, as modern technologies. And the batteries will never die on you.