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Finding Directions with a Shadow Stick

Posted by on 7/30/2013 to Signals & Navigation

Finding your bearings is essential to getting out alive in a survival situation. But even without a compass, GPS, or other special tool, you can easily figure out the cardinal directions with a little help from the sun and a stick, by making a sun compass.

Discover North Using a Stick and the Sun

  1. Plant a stick vertically into the ground at approximately 20 inches in length.
  2. Collect a handful of small pebbles, rocks or other items to use as markers. Place one of them at the tip of the shadow caused by the stick.
  3. After about 20-30 minutes, the shadow will have moved. Place another marker at the new location where the shadow ends.
  4. Wait another 20-30 minutes and repeat step 3, by placing another marker at the new shadow end.
  5. You should have formed a straight line with the 3 markers you have placed. This line goes east to west, to find the north and south axis, simply place another stick perpendicular to the line of markers.
  6. To determine north, walk along the path of the north/south stick with the sun at your back. You are now walking north. Congratulations!
  7. What You'll Need:

    Sticks
    One of these...
    Rocks
    A few of those...
    Sun
    Some of this...

    A survival navigation skill like "How to find direction" is so simple to learn, but almost too simple that people often overlook the importance and therefore never take the time to truly understand. I urge you to go outside and try this out today. Then take a compass and test yourself to see if it worked. If not, I'll give you some Bitcoin.

    Recommended Survival Gear by Skip: Mykel Hawke Survival Kit - Pocket Water Filter - Sun Shield

    Recommended Navigation Tools by Cliff: Racing Compass - Bear Grylls GPS - Walking Stick

     
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