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7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

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If push comes to the shove and you need to find the true north without a compass, you must know how to do that to survive. We’ll tell you how today!

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In this article 😛 TAGEND

Shadow-Tip Method Stars in the Northern Hemisphere Stars in the Southern Hemisphere Stars in the Equator A Watch in the Northern Hemisphere A Watch in the Southern Hemisphere Sun’s Direction

Outdoor Survival Kit | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Finding True North: Navigate Outdoors Without a Compass

1. Shadow-Tip Method

A woman digging soil with bamboo stick to plant tree | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass There are three essential components in using a stick to act as a true north compass: the sunlight, a stick, and the stick’s shadow.

Place a stick upright on level ground where it can cast a shadow. Mark the tip of the shadow and wait for about 10 -1 5 mins. until the shadow changes its position. When it does, mark the second shadow. Stand on the first mark with your left foot and the second largest mark on with your right. Doing this would build you stand in front of the true north.

2. Starrings in the Northern Hemisphere

What is the Northern Hemisphere? The portion of the globe above the equator. The Northern Hemisphere consists of 90% of the world’s whole population.

Looking at the stars in the northern hemisphere is one of the most efficient way on how to find true north without a compass. This is a good method to utilize when the stars are glistening brightly in the clear night skies.

Locate the Big Dipper constellation and draw an imaginary line on its two outer stars.

In sky lore, these two stars are called Dubhe and Merak. The line points to Polaris which is the last star in the Little Dipper constellation.

Now that you determined Polaris, merely depict an imaginary line downward and that is where the true north is.

3. Stars in the Southern Hemisphere

Night sky in the Southern hemisphere with milkway at moonrise | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the North Star will not be visible. Hence, you must look for the Little Dipper instead.

Look for the Southern Cross, which is composed of five stars and is angled on one side. Set five imaginary lines as large as a long time axis of the Southern Cross in front of its angled side. From there, draw another imaginary line downward — this points toward the true south. Thus, this attains the opposite direction the true north.

4. Superstars in the Equator

In this method, you’ll be using Orion’s Belt to navigate. It operates from east to west, so you can project a line from these directions.

Projecting another line starting from the middle starring of the belt downward will point you to the true north.

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5. A Watch in the Northern Hemisphere

A person wearing wristwatch with nature background | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass Hold your watch horizontally and make sure the hour hand points at the sunshine. Bisect that slant you see between your watch’s hour hand and the 12 o’clock — this angle is the north-south line.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is in the south when it’s midday, so opposite of it will be where north is. If, on the other hand, you follow daylight saving day, then bisect it with the 1 o’clock instead of 12.

6. A Watch in the Southern Hemisphere

Male jogger running training in woods | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass When you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, point the 12 o’clock at the sunshine or 1 o’clock if it’s on daylight saving period. Bisect a line from the hour hand and the one pointed at the sun, which makes your north-south line.

Since you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the sunlight is due north at midday, leading you to where the true north is.

7. Sun’s Direction

Sunset | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass Knowing where the sunlight is positioned will assist you find where the true north is. Technically, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

So by early morning, watch where the sunlight rises. The true north will be a quarter turn counterclockwise from that direction.

On the other hand, if you ensure the sunset, which is the west direction, the north is approximately a one-quarter turn clockwise from that direction.

Download or reference this infographic for future reference.

Infographic | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Of course, observing the true north is simpler if you have a compass, so it’s best to always keep one in your bug out bag. But in situations in which there’s none, learning the above-mentioned styles can help you out in seeing your route back.

I’ve tried the shadow-tip method and it ran perfectly. The downside, though, is you need to have sunlight to be able to use the method used so it will be hard to rely on this one after sunset.

Do you know other ways to find true north without a compass? Share them in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 11, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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