Navigating With the Sun

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by Aneye4theshot, Jan 21, 2016.

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  1. Aneye4theshot

    Aneye4theshot Expert Member

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    When it comes to navigation, we have discussed many different things such as the stars, geographical landmarks, and mapping. There is another technique that is a given and has been used by individuals who are explorers of land for generations and that is the sun. Every day the Sun will rise and set. If the Sun doesn't rise and set then none of us, have to worry about where we're going. The Sun will always rise in the east while resting in the West this is a great way to remember your directions. Once you know where East and West are located finding north and south is a piece of cake. Explorers in the pioneer years that traveled from the east coast of America to the west coast used the rising and set sun to help expand the country.
    The old phrase about the cowboy riding off into the sunset was the perfect example of the old west. Perhaps because the sun set in the west is why so many Westerners use that notorious phrase. Vice versa should you be heading east it is easy to follow where the sun rises in the morning and make sure it is at your back in the evening, and you know that you are traveling on the right path. By learning to know the positioning of the sun in the sky, you will also be able to utilize time naturally. Sundials can be made, but just the basic positioning of where the Sun is when one is familiar with it will let you know the estimated time of day. There are many different ways available to navigate today and to utilize and knowing as many of them as possible will help to give you the desired outcome of your course.
    sunnytn and Ricky Jeringan like this.
  2. DecMikashimota

    DecMikashimota New Member

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    It appears that there could be a defect in the information,The sun ascends due east on just two occasions annually. Those would have to be the equinoxes, Besides the dates of March 21 and September 22 which are closer to the Summer and Winter Solstices, the sun will be rising in the Northeast or Southwest due to the Earth’s tilt.
  3. jonthai

    jonthai New Member

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    I found this image to be very useful! I've started to learn how to guide myself trough the sun and it's been working out so far.
  4. Endure

    Endure Expert Member

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    There are many different ways available to navigate today.

    I personally like the wristwatch as compass method. You can hold the watch horizontally to navigate as long as you are anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere during the day, when the sun is visible. Lay the watch flat and face-up in your palm so that its face is parallel with the ground. Afterwards, turn the watch, your hand, or your entire body so that the hour hand of your watch is pointing directly at the sun. The time on the watch doesn't matter, as long as it's accurate. If you're having a hard time lining the hour hand up with the sun exactly, you may want to use a narrow object's shadow to help you. Stick a twig or narrow stuff into the ground so that the shadow it casts is clearly visible. Then, line the shadow up with the hour hand of your watch. An object's shadow is cast away from the sun, so lining your hour hand up with a narrow shadow is essentially the same as lining it up with the sun itself. Now the tricky part is to find the middle point of the angle between your hour hand and the 12 o'clock mark on your watch. Before noon, you'll have to measure clockwise from your hour hand to the 12 o'clock marking, while afternoon, you'll have to measure counterclockwise from your hour hand to the 12 o'clock marking. The middle point between the two marks South, while the point directly across from it marks North.
  5. appleandcinnamon

    appleandcinnamon New Member

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    Is it possible to pinpoint where east and west is based on the growth of trees? I've heard that branches of trees tend to grow towards sunlight, so this might be relevant in mountainous areas where there are obstacles to sunlight from hitting the ground.
  6. WildSpirit

    WildSpirit Active Member

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    This is perfectly possible. :cool:

    I've already tried to learn to guide myself using sunlight (and I've tried many times :D), but there's no way... My sense of direction is bad, really bad. :( In the matter of "survival" this is one of my weakest points.
  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    When we go to a camping trip where we have to walk for miles to reach the campsite, I was always on the lookout for landmarks especially when there was no guide. But I have learned how to use the sun for navigating especially when in an unknown forest or wilderness. Before setting out, we draw a sketch to pinpoint the location of the campsite, whether it is a formal campsite or just a plain area that is named a campsite. Using the sun for navigation is not that simple but not that hard either. Just be aware of your shadow and you will get the idea of what direction you are heading to.
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