The long-established Expedition 4 has all the features needed in a walker’s compass. The base plate is long, making taking map bearings easier, and there is a magnifi er for seeing map details in poor light. The bezel has a serrated edge and is easy to turn when wearing gloves. There is a declination scale but the needle can’t be permanently adjusted to this, which is not something I’ve ever found a problem. More useful are the romer scales, which are right angle rulers for measuring grid references (useful for giving someone a position and for plotting your location from a nonmapping GPS). The Expedition 4 has these for the three commonly used map scales, the only compass reviewed to do so. The Expedition also has luminous points for night navigation, something I’ve rarely used, and silicon rubber pads on the base so it doesn’t slip on a map. All the compasses reviewed are good models, but the Expedition 4 just has the edge because of the romer scales and the long base plate, hence being my first choice. Like all Silva compasses it comes with a simple user guide with details of how to take a map bearing and how to adjust the bearing for declination.
2nd May 2012