Silva Compass Expedition–£25 (shop around and you’ll get it under £20)
Not an expensive piece of kit and certainly not the height of glamour. Yet, in the hands of those who know how to use it, couple this with a £7.99 map and a case, and you have equipment that’ll do more to keep you safe than the most expensive gps.
This is still probably one of the cheapest technical bits of kit you’ll carry if you do any serious walking, and arguably one of the most important. Make sure that you get one that measures in degrees and not in military mils (unless you’re used to that of course)!
Be warned that Silva are discontinuing this classic and replacing it with a new, more expensive Explorer. One of the benefits being that you have a Harveys map 1:40k romer scale built in for more effective navigation, another being the luminous dial.
If you really want to push the boat out, buy an Expedition 54 compass that costs more than the cheapest GPS devices at £70 and allows you to take a bearing at an accuracy of 0.5°. With a raised bevel that works partially like a sighting compass, you’ve the best of both worlds.
Extras – You’ll certainly need a case to protect it and it’s recommended that you have the skills to use it. Either invest in a good book – Navigation by Peter Cliff or Cicerone’s Navigation, or enrol on a navigation course.