Cammenga Tritium Lensatic Compass 3H
Price Paid: Gift
I have done land navigation at many different places around the world. Many were unpleasant where accuracy was/is critical. As a cavalry scout the ability to have excellent land navigation skills is a must.
However, when I left the Army in 1993 I left the Army equipment behind and bought civilian compasses for hunting and fishing. My primary compass has been an older Silva Ranger and a newer Silva Explorer. They have have been good solid compasses which is more than adequate for what I have been doing.
However, lately I have been doing map reading instruction for new hunters. I wanted something more dependable than my old standby - the Silva's. So I asked for a Cammenga 3H (basic Army compass)for Christmas.
What a difference! First, off it was like coming home again. Everything just felt right about it.
Secondly, the ability to easily navigate in really difficult terrain is far better and more accurate. With the thumbhole holder it is easier to level.
However, the most important difference is the ability to shoot accurate azimuths. The Silva was good but the 3H is far better. I like the locking card, the tritium dial and the maginifier. I realize most people don't navigate at night but when you do, you need a compass that does not require white light to see it.
Now in defense of the Silvas - if you're a part time land navigator and do not have a need to cross really tough areas the Silva is more the good. However, if you're going to navigate in situations that could end up being survival situations, spring for the 3H.
What kind of situations are those? Well, skiing/snowmobiling in back country areas far from any man made land marks (no Virginia, they don't have cell phone coverage out there!). Low areas where you must constantly shoot accurate azimuths, etc.
Just a word of caution. Most people will waste there money if they buy a 3H. It is much more than most people need. In fact a Silva Explorer is perfect for most backpackers, etc. However, if you really want the most dependable, accurate and tough personal compass this is it.