Friday, June 17, 2011

Finding Your Way Without a Compass - Part 1

If you become lost while backpacking, camping or hunting in the backcountry, how do you find your way home.  First you must find North in order to figured out which way you must head to get home.

Ant Hills and Moss:

Nature can help!  In the Northern Hemisphere,  moss grows the fastest on the North side of tree trunks where it is shaded from the sun in the South.  While many varieties of ants like to build their ant hills on the South side of trees.

The Sun and Your Watch:

First and most importantly, you must use an analog watch with an hour and minute hand to find your way. Sorry your digital watch won't help unless it has a built in compass.
Looking at your watch, align it so that the hour hand points in the direction of the sun (turn your body, twist your wrist a bit, or take it off).  Now imagine a line starting from the center of the dial halving the angle between the hour dial and 12 o'clock. This line points South.

Note: Daylight Savings must be accounted for, so add an hour in the fall by moving the hour hand one hour clockwise.  For the summer, subtract an hour by moving your hour hand one hour counter clockwise.

Best of luck on your next outdoor adventure!

                                                      - Backcountry Gear @ Gear&Gadgetry

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