using natural features
Plants and trees can be of great help in wilderness navigation.
Navigating by trees and plants
In northern temperate climates, there is a marked tendency for the flowers of plants to face the sunny side, south or east.
Trees affected by the prevailing wind
can be of help to the natural navigator. However, trees are affected by many factors and confirm your findings by observing several trees in the same neighborhood.
A couple of pointers that can be useful in using trees for finding direction are:
In the northern hemisphere and on the side facing south
(in the southern hemisphere it’s the side facing north):
there is probably more foliage.
tree branches are probably stronger and longer, provided that the tree is growing freely.
Navigating by moss
The old saying that moss grows on the north side in the northern hemisphere is only partially accurate. Moss and lichens do not necessarily thrive where they receive the most shade, but, and this is important, where the moisture is retained the longest. Humidity is an even greater factor than shade.
Each locality has its difference in climate, and you should determine for yourself which side retains moisture the longest in your particular area. Only in this way can mosses and lichens be a valuable guide to direction.
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