Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Made in the USA" Gear Review: Brunton Compasses

Kudos to longtime compass maker Brunton for bringing manufacturing back to the US. Back in May of 2012, Brunton's executives made a bold decision to cease their Chinese baseplate compass manufacturing operations and restart production in Brunton's Riverton, Wyoming plant. This means that ALL new Brunton baseplant compasses are now 100% USA made.

Though I've long favored Suunto's Finnish-made compasses, the O.S.S. 70M sent to me by Brunton proved very similar in overall quality and accuracy when used during a few wilderness jaunts. The O.S.S. 50M was not quite up to Suunto quality, but was still a decent, budget-priced compass.

Brunton's O.S.S. 70M helping to navigate the winter backcountry

Brunton's affordable O.S.S. 50M US made baseplate compass:


  • BRUNTON O.S.S. alignment system
  • Tool free declination adjustment
  • On the map Meridian lines
  • 2° resolution
  • Mid-hinged sighting mirror
  • Protective cover
  • Clinometer
  • Inch/mm scales
  • Lanyard
  • Weight: 2.2 oz.
  • Dimensions: 2.9''x3.9''x0.8''
  • Made in the USA

  • Brunton's higher end professional compass, the O.S.S. 70M, which includes a handy guide on how to use a compass, as well as wilderness survival tips, etc:


    Brunton O.S.S 70M SPECS:

    • BRUNTON O.S.S. alignment system
    • Tool free declination adjustment
    • On the map Meridian lines
    • Magnified read-out for 1° accuracy
    • Protective cover with sighting mirror
    • Field reference cards for mapping and emergency use
    • 3 clinometer systems
    • Map magnifier
    • Lanyard
    • Dimensions: 4.1''x2.5''x1''
    • Weight: 3.6 oz
    • 1° resolution
    • Scales: Feet, mile and meter scales
    • Map Scale: 1:24k, UTM
    • Made in the USA

    Not only are Brunton's compasses being made in the USA again, they are also no more expensive than their competitors. So if a US made compass is in your sights, Brunton should definitely top your list.

    For more information visit www.brunton.com/pages/navigation

    About the author
    Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)

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