While I was cruising the Walmart sporting goods aisle a few weeks ago, I came across a cool little contraption that was priced so right that I had to pick one up. You’ve probably seen some Coghlans brand products in their camping section. I found a nice little 4 in 1 tool that is compact, hardly weighs anything and, most importantly, is CHEAP! It is a survival whistle/thermometer/compass/magnifier combo. I know what you’re thinking, “You get what you pay for,” but this item was so cheap, if it turned out to be a complete piece of crap, it wouldn’t even matter.
This product is approximately 3 inches long and 1 1/8 inch wide at its widest point. It has a small key ring on it, and attached to that is a small hook clip for attaching it to a bag or even your coat or jacket. Due to its cheap price, I questioned its quality, so I decided to test its various functions against things I had on hand that I knew worked well. First, before I even purchased the survival whistle, I lined up several of them in a row to make sure that the compasses were consistent. PASS. I also tested them against the Compass on my iPhone. PASS again. So I said, “What the heck; lets do it!” I purchased the unit for a whopping $2.88.
When I got home, I placed the whistle in my living room to test it against the thermometer in my house. PASS. Then, the better half thought it would be funny to test the whistle. I honestly thought she ruptured my eardrum. The one I have is pretty loud. The little magnifier works good as well, but I haven’t had the chance to test it in the field. Still, it does a fine job reading tiny print.
To sum up, for $2.88, you can get an insanely loud whistle, accurate thermometer, compass and magnifier all in one device. If you lose it or break it in the field, who cares since it’s under $3 bucks.