It’s Becoming A Lost Art, This Skill Is A Must

With all the GPS apps out there people are losing the lost art of navigation. One of the other things I’ve noticed is that reliance on these apps has even hurt people’s ability to recognize where they are when driving.

So below are some great tips on how to find true north without a compass.

Losing your way in the wilderness can be frightening, but there’s no need to panic—there are several ways to find true north, even without a compass. Find out how to use trees, moss, and the sun to help you get back on track.

3 Solutions to Losing Your Way

Being lost in the woods can be a daunting experience, especially when you don’t know which direction you should head in. Though a compass is helpful, you don’t always need one to find your way. Here are three reliable ways to locate true north without a compass.

Circle of Polaris

First, if you’re lucky enough to have a clear night sky, locating the North Star, AKA Polaris, is the easiest and most traditional way to find true north. All you need to do is locate the Big Dipper, then look straight out from the tip until you spot the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor). Polaris is the brightest star in this constellation. In the northern hemisphere, the night sky revolves around this star.

Using the Trees

In the following video, you will see how trees grow in the northern hemisphere and how that allows you to determine which direction to travel.

If you find yourself in the woods on a cloudy day, you can still determine the north direction. Examine the trees surrounding you. Trees naturally tend to grow toward the sun. In the northern hemisphere, the sun generally resides in the southern half of the sky, so the branches on the north side of trees tend to grow upward and outward to gather more sunlight.

The north side usually has fewer branches because there is less light. The north side of the tree is also likely to be damper and cooler than the south side. However, caution should be taken when finding north this way, as moss growth is not always exclusive to the northern part.

Clouds and Sun

Even if the night sky is obscured, you can use the sun and clouds to help you find true north. Once the sun is visible, look at the position of the clouds. In the northern hemisphere, clouds usually tend to move southwest-to-northeast. By noting the direction of the clouds, you can figure out which direction is north.

Getting lost in the wilderness can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Using these simple techniques, you should be able to get back on track quickly. Knowing how to use trees, moss, and the sun to find true north can help you steer clear of potential danger and come home safe and sound.

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