What Are Some Ways To Orient Yourself To The Cardinal Directions Anywhere.

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by Jahkobi Martin, May 24, 2017.

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  1. Jahkobi Martin

    Jahkobi Martin New Member
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    How can I orient where the cardinal directions are in any location?
    Are some cool tricks I can learn?
     
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  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Learn to read the stars in your particular location. Here in Australia we have the Southern Cross. But the sun rises in the East & sets in the West. Once you have the direction, you can maintain a straight line of travel by putting your back against a tree or some other object & line it up with another in the distance. As you approach the distant object, line it up with another object beyond it. When you reach the tree or other object, repeat by putting your back to that tree/object & walk toward the next. At sundown check your position & put some sticks into the ground to mark your direction for next morning. If you can read the stars, you can use them also.
    Better still, get yourself a compass.
    Keith.
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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  3. Xilkozuf

    Xilkozuf Active Member
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    Besides the sun and the stars, moss is also a good resource if you are in the wood, and the sky is covered in clouds. Usually there are more moss the north side of trees (and also rocks). It shouldn't be your main or first resource although, cause it's not always 100% reliable: in some southern part of the world the moss use to grow on the southern part on trees, and in some particular case it might not grow on neither part.
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    I don't think I have something to contribute to this thread other than the sun. I have to admit that when the sun is out, my navigation drops to zero. When I was a girl scout, we were taught the basic of the stars but it was not easy hence I forgot about it already. That's why I admire the fishermen who would go to the sea at night and come back home before dawn. Without any navigational aid like a compass, those fishermen can determine the direction based on the position of the stars.
     
  5. omegaman

    omegaman Expert Member
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    Ants allways build their... Are they called houses? Stacks? Whatever, you know what I mean, on the south side (Northern hemisphere) of trees. You can also see that trees grow bigger on their southern facing side.
     
  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    we always called them ant's NEST's.
     
  7. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    In the Northern hemisphere if you will take your watch is it is analog or imagine where the hands would be if it is digital and point the hour hand towards the sun, half way between where the hour hand is pointing and 12 is south. In the Southern Hemisphere you do the same and the half way point is pointing North.

    If it is cloudy you can usually detect the sun's location by turning slowly while looking down and watching the reflection and shine on your thumbnail. When it brightens slightly you are facing the sun. When you look up the brightness causes your pupils to shrink and makes you less sensitive to light where when you are looking down an watching a diffused reflection your pupil will dilate slightly and be more sensitive.

    Rhomboid calcite crystals can be used to locate the sun in a cloudy sky. The Viking Sunstones were valuable tools for their navigation. If you take a needle and whack it a few times with a metal "hammer" you can then float it on a little leaf in a puddle and it will orientate north south.

    Cattle will nearly always stand aligned along a north south line while eating. Seriously, look it up.

    In an arid places in the Northern Hemisphere the south side of a hill will be notably dryer than the north side. This will be most notable by the amount of vegetation that will grow on the wetter north side and the lack of it on the southern side.

    This doesn't work for everyone but the magnetic field of the planet IS detectable by a lot of animals. It seems that some people fan learn to "feel" it and develop a sore of sixth sense for directions. I have never been able to get lost in the woods either in the day or the night. I can wander for a while and then just turn and walk out or back to where I started. I think that it is a lot like wiggling your ears that some can do and other can't. My wife can and I can't! Close your eyes and turn paying close attention to what you "feel". Experiment with this. I think that it may in part be that as you become more aware of directions you begin to pick up things that were always there like the way shadows move and the other things that you can always do and you just become more subconsciously aware. Whatever the cause a lot of people can develop a directional sense.
     
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  8. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Probably not so easy to determine in a forest.
    Keith.
     
  9. omegaman

    omegaman Expert Member
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    Well, I would disagree. If you get up on a height, and look out over the landscape here, you can see wich is north and south, the green "lean" towards the south. The ants-nest, I have to check next time Im out, but scouts manual says it's true :)
     
  10. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I only mentioned this because in a forest the tops of the trees touch each other, & they tend to grow more uniform. An ants nest on the south side of one tree must also be on the north of another tree.
    Keith.
     
  11. omegaman

    omegaman Expert Member
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    Oh, ok. We only have a few species of ants here, I dont know their english names. But they build their nests leaning on trees. Others live in treestumps and such, but the nest-building ones.
    If the nest is built on free land, wich happens, allthough not very often, the nest leans towards the south.

    Also note how the entire forrest leans over in the same direction.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  12. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    easiest way I can think of is to know that in the northern hemisphere the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
     
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  13. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Understood, thank you.
    Keith.
     
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