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The Wilderness Survivor, Issue #014 - The pocket watch method
June 07, 2005
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Editor - The Wilderness Survivor

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Table of contents

- Editor's Notes
- The pocket watch method
- Content has been updated

Editor's Notes

Hello ,

Hope everything is well with you and that you are ready for a new issue of the Wilderness Survivor.

If you ever find yourself mapless and without a compass in the wilderness it's important you understand that nature provides you with a variety of ways to identify direction. Finding location and direction using the sun is the simplest and most fundamental method.

The last month I have got a couple of e-mails regarding navigation using the sun and special regarding the pocket watch method. One reader even ask the question if the pocket watch method should be included on the Wilderness Survival Skills webpage? Yes, I think so. But you have to understand the limits of the method.

Enjoy your reading!

Have a safe and fun wilderness trip - Respect and protect the wilderness !

The pocket watch method

A method of finding north and south commonly used and trusted is by means of a pocket watch. Unfortunately the apparent simplicity of this method may give a very wrong impression as to its accuracy.

Maximum error

The pocket watch method can give as much as 24 degrees in error. To get good accuracy you need to have access to a table of the sunís direction. As a wilderness traveler you probably donít carry these information otherwise you are a devoted natural navigator.

To take into consideration

However there are times and places where the use of a watch will be reasonably correct. The most important things to remember when using the pocket watch method are:

1.Only to be used in latitudes between 40 and 60 degrees north or south of the equator.
2.The most accurate result will be gotten at noon on any day
3.Your watch have to be running on accurate local time.

Rough method of estimation

Again, remember direction by a pocket watch is a rough method of estimation. A more accurate method to find direction from the sun is the shadow stick method, see Finding direction by the sun for more information.

I good thing to remember is that the shadow of a stick is shortest at noon, when it points either north (southern hemisphere) or south (northern hemisphere).

Content has been updated

New more good content have been added to the Wilderness Survival Skills website the last couples of week:

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Contact me

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Written by Erik C. Falk

(c) copyright 2005

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