Finding direction without a compass
The nature provides you with a variety of ways of finding directions. Even when a map and compass are available, knowing how to interpret the signs of nature become a great help.
Finding direction in the wilderness
There are several methods that you can use to determine direction including the sun, moon, stars, wind, trees and other plants. However, these methods will give you only a general
direction, but, in combination with knowledge of the terrain, these methods will let you come up with fairly true direction to help you navigate without a compass. Practice the methods that
follow. They will increase your confidence in the wilderness and may make your trip more enjoyable.
Learn how to find direction by the:
- the North star
- the Southern Cross
- trees and other plants
Even if you know your walking direction, it's not an easy task to walk in a straight line. Many theories have been put forward to explain why lost people travel in circles. However, almost every person tends to veer in one direction or another in a
consistent way, whether they are lost or not. Irritant forces, such as wind, rain, snow storms, dust storms, or even sunlight can cause a wanderer to deviate from their path. In meeting obstacles on the intended path, keep this influence in mind and
deliberately alternate to the right and to the left in passing obstacles.
To be able to follow a straight line between two points without any compass you should use landmarks. It's elementary practice to find two landmarks ahead and line them up, and to do the same thing looking back. Back marks are just as important as for marks, and in the absence of natural back marks, you can make your own.
Map and compass navigation
Remember! No one should venture for a wilderness trip without a map and a compass. Being able finding direction by map and compass
is a required skill for all wilderness travelers.
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