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Gear Review



Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Ranger

Manufacturer: Silva

Your Opinion: 
 - 7 Votes


Page By: Moni

Created/Edited: Jul 16, 2004 / Jan 18, 2007

Object ID: 1100

Hits: 2481 


Large sighting mirror, rubber feet that grip the map when working to and from the map, and map measuring scales mm/inch 1:25k and 1:50k. Declination adjustment and a clinometer for measuring vertical angles. Side scales include 1/20th scale ruler. Various models have different bells and whistles.


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MoniUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

If you are going to buy a compass, then buy a decent one. No compass that cannot have the declination preset is worth much, especially when things get stressful. I have used a Silva Ranger in my professional work for years and it's never let me down. The built in clinometer is great for assessing possible avalanche slopes. With the declination correctly set, you don't have to remember whether you need to add or subtract the declination. Numerous websites will let you determine the declination before setting out. The mirror has other uses besides for navigation. It's worth the investment!

They are bomb-proof. My Ranger is 25 years old!
Posted Jul 16, 2004 7:20 pm

AndreasBlomquist.seUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Why go for second best when your life can depend on it if you get list in a white-out?

I've used the Silva Ranger for many years, from my years in the Swedish army to my years in the hills. Wouldn't go for anything else! A true must have complement to the GPS!
Posted Jan 23, 2005 6:37 pm

The Defiant OneUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I inherited this from my father who used his for 25+ years. It's wonderful. super-durable. versatile, easy to learn and use. buy the best compass you can afford, it's one of the most important pieces of equipment in your pack. this one is worth the money. see garage sales for a deal on one of these
Posted Mar 30, 2005 4:26 am

Derek FranzenRanger Compass

Voted 5/5

I purchased this compass in 1975 and I carry it on every trip. The snap lid protects the compass well and the mirror is excellent for sighting and running lines. There is a small slot to turn and adjust the declination, which is easy to do.
Posted Jun 26, 2005 8:30 am


Hasn't voted

I have a Silva Ranger that is somewhere around 20-25 years old. I have used it for hunting, hiking and backpacking for the whole time with no complaints. The mirror and bezel combination is easy to use to the practical limits of my kind of work. The declination adjustment is easy to use with an ultralight adjustment tool that threads onto the lanyard. The declination adjustment has never been accidentally knocked askew. My model has an inclinometer which has been more of an interesting toy than a neccesity. (You can estimate slopes and play geologist.) Scales on the footplate on mine are obsolete in the sense they do not relate to grid squares, but I understand that current versions remedy that problem. The size of the bezel is large enough for effective use in about any kind of recreational situation and is adequately readable in low light conditions. The mirror is usable for signaling and utility chores.

The Ranger is arguably heavier and bigger than necessary, and there are "scaled down" models of similar design from Silva and others that may be adequate. The weight and slight increase in precision and visibility are reassuring to me. You decide.

The military lensatic compass (I used them at your expense in all things artillery related for 7 reserve years) are capable of more precision in shooting azimuths etc., but I think that is wasted in recreational use. The military compass is also probably easier to use with precision in total darkness, but we do not heed to worry about being shot if we turn on a light. The slight fluoresence on the Ranger's needle and here and there on the bezel and base plate are all you'll likely need. The military compass is very heavy. It also is built in a way that leaves bruises if you bump into something with the compass in the way. It can abrade skin and clothing. The Ranger doesn't.

The other alternative, the bezel-on-a-card Boy Scout model, is lighter and adequate for many purposes. I feel the additional precision is needed often enough to make the Ranger a better choice.

Posted Mar 13, 2007 6:40 am

phoxtrotOld reliable

Voted 5/5

I have had a couple Rangers and have found them to be tough, and reliable. My first one after 25 years lost the fluid, but still worked. I retired it and bought another one.
Posted Nov 18, 2009 7:41 pm

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