A good orienteering compass is a critical piece of equipment. It should have these features:
- Clear base plate that allows you to see the map underneath
- Straight sides for aligning two points or for drawing lines
- Liquid-filled needle housing that keeps the magnetic needle relatively steady when taking readings
- Two arrows:
- A direction-of-travel arrow, painted on the base plate, is used to point the compass at your destination.
- An orienting arrow, located in the needle housing, is used to orient your compass to your map.
Before traveling into remote or unfamiliar areas, take a training course to learn how to use a compass correctly.