Compasses seem to come in all shapes, sizes and (especially) prices! What sets a good compass apart from a bad one and what are some good characteristics to look for when making a purchase?
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As far as compasses are concerned I look for several things:
Additional nice to haves are:
A high quality compass is shock resistant and sealed to a certain pressure level so that the needle always stays movable. Having a mirror which allows you to navigate while looking at your target or even moving can come in handy.
The vertical intensity of the magnetic field is not the same on the southern hemisphere as on the northern. This affects the needle's horizontal position. Some compasses come with exchangeable capsules. The pricier ones (mostly +50% of the price) do not require to change the capsule.