With the recent discovery of hiking and photography, the compass was becoming decidedly low-tech. I picked up the Garmin eTrex Legend GPS unit.
The unit is compact, inexpensive and runs off a couple of AA batteries. For its price point, about $130, this GPS is remarkably well featured. It has 8MB of memory to support downloads of additional maps. And it is perfect for hiking.
Imagine being able to pinpoint your location within 10 feet or so on a trail and know exactly which direction you are heading, or need to head, and the distance to your next waypoint.