Can you remember a time when you started a day hike in the late afternoon and had such a great time being out that you were late getting back? Do you remember the frustration of trying to navigate in the dark? Have you ever tried to see down the trail by the light from your phone? Or used the GPS to keep the little dot on the line of the trail? They’ve reached a point where their capacity to be useful has reached their limit.
We’ve grown as a society into relying on an abundance of technology to navigate. Why shouldn’t we? Cell towers cover us just about anywhere we go. It’s a pleasant surprise to find service even far away from civilization. There are even resources where you can download the maps to your phone and the GPS function relies on satellite more than towers anyway. Right?
When the tools we all heavily rely on (*cough, cough* our phones) stop working, however, you are quickly thrown into the dark ages as though you have no tool at all. What was life like back then? What kind of person invented the first navigation tools and who perfected them into what they are today? Your question is here answered by SILVA, a manufacturer of compasses and headlamps. Three brothers, (Björn, Arvid, and Alvar Kjellström) invented the first ever liquid-filled compass in 1933. This was so cool at the time because the liquid in the compass allowed the magnetic needle to pivot more efficiently, making it more accurate than any other compass had been before. Then, in 1935 their company launched its first headlamp. Combined with a map, these two tools made personal navigation accessible to any and all who had a need for it. They wanted to help people go anywhere they wanted, at any time of day, in any conditions.
As you’ve been reading, you’ve probably already imagined your technology failing you. At this point, you’re starting to see why a compass and headlamp would be valuable to you. They become even more valuable when you start to push your limits with longer hikes, trail running, and even marine navigation. That’s right, compasses aren’t just for super-yachts. You can very easily find yourself in a position where getting your kayak back to the same shore you took off from depends on a marine compass.
SILVA is the top brand out there. They’ve been creating critical navigation tools and not much else for nearly a century. There was a brief moment where they also made serving trays, weirdly, and currently they also make binoculars and backpacks in addition to their liquid compasses and headlamps. They’re constantly innovating and working to make their equipment better and more suitable for their users. For example, the Intelligent Lighting system on their headlamps is designed to adjust for the user’s eyes. Their most recent headlamp (the Trail Runner Free) features wires woven into the band to reduce weight and improve fit and comfort. They’re still making compasses better, the most recent of which has a global needle that can be used anywhere in the world.
Your adventure kit should include a compass and headlamp. One of the biggest thrills of an adventure is getting home to tell your friends and family about it. But you have to find your way home to do it. You don’t have to navigate all the way home by map and compass, that’d be dire circumstances. You should have the right tools for the situation you’re in though. Granted a good chunk of the time, that tool is your cell phone and GPS which can be easier to use than orienteering with a map. However, a cell phone isn’t always the right tool for the job. Frankly, that’s what SILVA is passionate about. Going anywhere, anytime, in any conditions. Even when technology lets you down. There is always more to discover when you have Silva in your back pocket.
Liberty Mountain is the U.S. Distributor of SILVA products. To shop SILVA products in the U.S. visit silva-usa.com