Compasses for orienteering have one major key feature. Their needle is fast; extremely fast. It’s main mission is to keep you company and guide you forward when running – and competing in orienteering. If you haven’t tried this noble sport yet, we suggest you give it a try: it’s tricky and sweaty but, oh, so fun!

Thumb compass

SILVA’s race thumb compasses are perfect for the orienteer, the adventure race athlete or whoever is in need of a compass with outstanding quality, needle settling time and stability during running.


Our thumb baseplates features a design which contributes to perfect contact between thumb and map. It is also highly durable, in acrylic plastic with lots of transparency, which increases the map visibility. You use the edge of the baseplate to get your bearing.

Wrist compass

The OMC Spectra is a strong partner out in the track. Not only will it point quickly towards your travel destination after you set the course, it is also worn comfortably on your wrist.

Maps For Orienteering

On maps for orienteering north is drawn to Magnetic North in order to quickly correspond with the compass. Magnetic North is also illustrated by arrowheads at the top of each meridian line. Scales are the ratio of the distance on the map to the distance on the ground. It refers to the amount of terrain represented by each centimeter on the map. On a map with the scale 1:10 000 one centimeter can be translated into one centimeter on the map representing 10 000 centimeters (100 meter) on the ground.

Spectra Pattern

The SILVA Spectra System™ is developed to simplify your orienteering, enabling you to be faster and more accurate through the forest. No matter if you are an elite or leisure orienteer – the Spectra System™ will help you by letting you stay on the right course at high speed while reducing mistakes.

The Spectra System™ consists of coloured reference points and dots on the
capsule that are easy and quick to read and memorise.

Our goal is for you to become faster by helping you navigate more accurately, and to think more clearly. The tougher the work, the harder it is to make the right decision and do the right thing – quickly. To think clearly, you have to keep things simple. With our Spectra compasses you have an easier system and clearer reference points, which help you keep the right directions at competition speed.

Advantages with the spectra system™:

  • You don’t need to hold the compass orientated on the map, in order to travel
    on the desired bearing.
  • You can run on a compass bearing at high speed.
  • Taking the step from using the traditional base plate compass to using a
    thumb compass is made easier.
  • You have more freedom to choose whether to run with the map and compass in the same hand or with the compass in one hand and the map in the other.
  • The use of colours and dots as reference points reduces the risk of making
    mistakes at extreme levels of physical and mental fatigue.
  • The use of colours and dots makes the teaching and learning of how to use
    the compass easier. It simplifies the explanation of how to use to map and
    compass youths and beginners.
  • The colour segments are easier to find and focus on, especially at high speed
    and you can correct your direction without stopping.

Compass needle

The magnetic needle features a combination of a sapphire jewel bearing and a hardened steel pivot that minimises friction, which in turn gives rapid and accurate movements. Magnetic North direction accuracy: 1 degree. Remember that the orange/red end points to magnetic north!

Our thumb compass needles come in two different versions:

The SILVA Jet Needle is the the world’s fastest compass needle, and it and has a design with a lot of transparency which increases the map visibility. The baseplate of the compass also features a design which contributes to better contact between thumb and map, and with thicker baseplate material it withstands the toughest conditions.

The Silva NOR Needle is your compass needle if you’re looking for a thumb compass without fuss – lots of transparency to increase the map visibility and all the high-end qualities that you may need. The baseplate also features a design which contributes to better contact between thumb and map, and with thicker baseplate material it withstands the toughest conditions.