Orienting skills are still very helpful and important, as, believe us or not, smartphones cannot always save the day and navigate you through the wilds. Smartphone as any electrical device, has a tendency of losing power, so if you have no possibility to charge your gadget, sooner or later the battery will be dead and you will be lost in a middle of nowhere without a clear notion where to go.
So here are our tips and tricks how to orient in unfamiliar locations using old school non-technical gadgets
- What to do if you have a map, but don’t have a compass. This step will work out in case if you have a good map with you, that distinguishes landmarks and hills, has a contour lines that point the upraise. Another important note – you should know how to read the map. In this case you will be able to look around, find distinguishing landmarks, find them on the map and point your current position with a mark. All maps are drawn in such a way that they are oriented to the North. Knowing that you will be able to find out where to go.
- You have a compass. Knowing the fact that the North is placed on the top of the map, distinguish the directions and follow the necessary directions to go whenever you need. You can also make your own compass with help of the pin. Put magnetized pin on a leaf and that leaf on water – the pin will show you where is the North. Mind, though, that you will need a magnet to magnetize the pin – rubbing it on silk won’t work.
- Use shadows. Attentively watch the shadow movement of a rock. Mark the position – the first position shows West, wait a few minutes and make the second mark – it is East. Bring into notice that these positioning works in the northern hemisphere and in the time interval 7 a.m – 7p.m.
- Use your watch with pointers: point the watch hand to the sun and see: a direction placed halfway between the hour pointer and “12” is South.
- Get acquainted with the position of the sun any time of the day – it is one of the easiest way to orient in time and directions.
- The same goes with the moon time.
- Orient by stars. You do not have to be a stargazer to find the North Star.
- Take GPS with you, though it doesn’t cancels the need to take a map and a compass with you.
- Read natural signs: mosses grow better on the north sides of the trees, ants prefer to build homes on the south sides of the trees, however, these signs also depend on great number of other conditions so they may confuse you instead of helping.