March 25, 2014 at 11:28 am #2449
Things happen…your GPS or compass may become lost or broken.
You may find yourself needing an alternate method of finding your bearings. You can use terrain association, if there is some readily identifiable features in view, but you really need to orient your map to a direction.
Anyone who has gone through any survival courses has been taught a variety of methods of survival navigation. Most have two problems in common, first they only apply to certain conditions, second they are a little too complicated and very easy to forget.
If you wish to use the North Star, it must be night, you need a clear night sky and must be in the northern hemisphere. The watch method of survival navigation is difficult since almost no one can remember which hand does what, and how north is indicated.
Also most people now wear digital watches without the hands on them, especially during outdoor activities. The stick shadow technique for survival navigation is simple, easy to remember and works anywhere on the planet in conditions where you can see a shadow.
The improvised Survival Navigation Technique is the simplest and most versatile method for direction finding without a compass.
It works anywhere on the planet as long as the sun throws a shadow. Equipment needed is simple: only a stick or straight object such as a pen, and two small objects like pennies or rocks and you will be able to find north.
Step One of the Stick Shadow Technique for Survival
Place your stick or any straight object into the ground, so it throws a shadow.
Put a rock or penny at the tip of the shadow, something easily identifiable and wait 15 or 20 minutes.
Place a second object at the tip of the shadow’s new position.
Place your left foot on the first rock or penny and your right foot on the second object. Just remember that you read left to right so your left foot goes on the first object and right on the second object, or if you are military-minded you always start off with your left foot.
You are now facing north!
All you really need to remember is to place the two rocks at the tip of the stick’s shadow. Then place your left foot on the first rock and right foot on the second rock. if you ever find yourself without a compass and in need of a little help orienting yourself, then this technique is easy to remember and needs little equipment or special conditions.March 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm #2664
That is amazing! Thank you!March 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm #2757
Very practical and simple to remember and doable in many situations. Thank you.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!March 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm #2775
But what if you want to go West or East? Just kidding, that was the blond question of the day. Seems I learned this a long time ago in the scouts and old age made me forget it. Hopefully I’ll remember it now. Specially since I plan on going outside tomorrow when it’s not raining and try it out.
For out local area I’ve printed out a bunch of google maps with the satilite image and placed them in a book after lamenating them.March 26, 2014 at 3:15 am #3346
Kim in INSurvivalist
Wow, does this really work??! My teenage son is going to give this a try tomorrow.When I told him about it, his first comment was “you can do that with your watch too Mom”. Guess I have 2 new skills to learn tomorrow.March 26, 2014 at 3:24 am #3358
Gypsy Wanderer HuskySurvivalist
This is very practical and will be teaching my kids!
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonMarch 26, 2014 at 3:45 am #3372
Kim in INSurvivalist
He just handed me his favorite survival book- The Survival Handbook, Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure by the Dorling Kindersley company. It explains both the stick and the watch method in it. Even though it’s a book for young adults/teens, it is packed with great info and good diagrams/pictures. He has several survival books, including several military manuals. He tells me this one explains things simply but thoroughly and the illustrations are great for beginners. Probably aren’t many “beginners” on this site, but I found the navigation instructions really helpful.March 26, 2014 at 7:45 am #3447
Good morning Kim in IN,
Yes it does work and being so simple it is very easy to remember as well.
Your son is the future of survival and prepping and it looks like you are encouraging him.March 26, 2014 at 7:46 am #3448
My pleasure AnikaMarch 26, 2014 at 7:47 am #3449
You are very welcomeMarch 26, 2014 at 7:48 am #3450
That is a great idea as kids today rely too much on technology and need to know what to do if we lose it.March 26, 2014 at 8:18 am #3454
Great instructions. I have moved this to the wilderness survival forum because it was not related to a personal experience.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")March 29, 2014 at 1:44 pm #4886
Thank you very much! Even my X-Box 360 addicted kids will be able to understand this.
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