Outdoor Survival Hack: Make A DIY Compass In the Wild

diy compassFood, water, and shelter are important during a survival situation, but today I want to talk about how to make a DIY compass.


Because there are tons of emergency scenarios where having a compass to navigate with can help save your life.

Just last month there was a hiker in Montana who “took a wrong turn” and ended up lost for seven days.  Thankfully, she was found by a search and rescue team, but all lost hiker stories don’t end that way.

So, whether SHTF or your end up taking a wrong turn, knowing how to make a DIY compass can put you on the path to survival.

How to Make a DIY Compass

Considering the wide range of GPS tools most of us have access to, it may seem like knowing how to use a compass is irrelevant.

After all, who needs to carry around an extra tool when Google can provide you with turn-by-turn directions.

But we all know that technology isn’t foolproof and can easily fail when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere.  That’s why it’s important to have a compass around for emergencies.

Even with all the technology we have available, a compass could still make all the difference in a life or death situation.

5-in-1 Survival Whistle Lensatic Compass Pathfinder GLO Pocket Compass


Pros and Cons of a DIY Compass

Even if you agree that having a compass is important, does that mean you have to make it yourself?

Not really.

Buying a compass won’t cost you much, and a small one weighs close to nothing, so you don’t have to worry about it making your bug out bag too heavy.

That said, it’s easy for something so small to get lost and having the knowledge to improvise a compass out of scavenged parts will ensure that you’re prepared for a worst-case scenario.

One downside for a lot of DIY compasses is that the instructions aren’t really practical for someone who winds up lost in the wilderness.

I mean, most people don’t carry sewing needles and a spare magnet around with them when they go hiking.

For that reason, I’m going to provide you with how-to instructions for making a DIY compass using various materials.

Making a Survival Leaf Compass

The video below shows you one of the common ways to make a DIY compass using a magnet, a needle, a leaf, and some water.

Instead of a needle, you can use any piece of ferrous metal like the stem of an earring, metal wires, a paperclip, or the clasp on a hair tie.

And if you don’t have a magnet, you might be able to find one nearby. Many cell phones have magnets inside them and so do car speakers.

Or you can use a knife to magnetize the metal like in the video below.

How to Make a Sun Compass

If you ever find yourself in a truly desperate situation with no supplies, this next compass can be put together using only natural materials.


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