- By Graham Allen
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 19/12/2016
I was recently sent a very interesting item by DNA Leisure, that is described as a ‘multi-functional compass’ but is in fact much more interesting than that. Yes, one of the functions is that of a compass but I personally think that DNA should describe it as an emergency survival kit!
It may seem a bit gimmicky, but the green plastic unit isn’t much bigger than a box of matches but has a host of useful gadgets hidden inside. The twopart body is three- by 1½-inches and one-inch thick and has a thermometer and a hygrometer on the top, so air moisture content and temperature can be determined. The unit I have on test is a little optimistic as far as the temperature goes, reading four-degrees warmer than it actually is but for something that only costs £14.99, I think that’s pretty good. The unit is hinged, and when opened, reveals the actual one-inch diameter compass; when I checked it against a quality ‘Silva’ compass, it was spot on by the way. The other side has a signalling mirror built in, which could obviously be very useful in an emergency.
Also, on the side of the bottom section, there’s a tiny sliding switch that turns on the micro LED light at the end of the unit. It’s not designed to find your way about in the dark but for close up work it’s bright enough; it can also be used to signal for help at night. Next to the compass is a small spirit level and a slide-out magnifying glass.
The hinge is hollow and at one end is found the ‘tappet’, a small wire with what looks like a shepherd’s crook at one end. When withdrawn, the tappet can be used to slide out the small emergency whistle in the side and also the small fire steel and striker. I successfully lit small cotton wool balls (not supplied) with the Ferro rod and if needed, I could have had a fire going in no time at all.
This may not be the sort of thing that a dyed-in-the-wool ‘serious’ bushcrafter would buy, but it really could get you out of a sticky situation one day. It could also be the ideal thing to buy a youngster to get them interested in getting out into the wilds. You could also have in your pocket and not notice it’s there until you need it. Contact DNA Leisure via their website at www.dnaleisure.co.uk for more.