There are different methods of navigating in a survival situation or in simple disorientation through major cities. The correct identification of the direction of the cardinal points can get you out of a big mess. Orientation according to them helps you keep your direction of movement straight or go to a specific target whose location you know.
In the era of GPS and portable maps, fielding has become a kind of extreme sport, contemporary man forgetting to think as long as the device speaks to him like a savage: “At the next intersection, turn right!” We have everything at our fingertips, but we must beware of the day when electricity will fall…
That is why the following information is meant to open your mind and encourage you to interact with nature, think more with your mind than with the device.
Methods of Navigating in a Survival Situation: Using Your Watch
If we have a wristwatch with indicator hands (not one with electronic display), with the help of the Sun, we can discover the direction South.
Maintain the watch horizontally with the small hand(that indicates the clock) pointing in the direction of the sun. The bisector of the angle of the small hand and the imaginary direction passing through the center of the clock and the clock 12 on the dial indicate the direction S.
Navigating Using Shadows
If the Sun is strong enough to see the shadow clearly, with a stick, we can establish the East and the West.
Put the stick in the ground and mark the “tip” of the shadow. It is expected about half an hour, an hour or so, so that its shadow moves sufficiently and then marks the new position of the shadow peak. The line joining the two points indicates the East direction (towards the second point). The west (towards the first point).
Navigating Using a Compass
While browsing in unknown areas it can be easy to mark your position and your destination by using the compass and knowing the azimuth of the direction towards which we want to go, or if we manage to identify an object (tree, rock, plant, etc.), the azimuth helps us reach it without there is a risk of getting lost.
The compass has the dial divided into 360 degrees, and the 0 (zero) or 360 gradients correspond to the North. With it, we can easily affect the North direction and the azimuth of a path that interests us.
We are looking for a known goal in the field – a fixed point in the direction we want to reach.
Then we set the North direction, and the magnetic needle is tipped to the letter “N” or “360”. From this position, the graduated dial is rotated until the objective is observed, looking towards the elevator.
The value of the graduation on the dial, right of the sign, is the azimuth of the direction we want to follow. By respecting this value, we can reach the proposed goal even if due to the advancement, we can no longer see the chosen landmark due to the unevenness of the land, the forest, the mist, the night, etc.
Note: It should be borne in mind that the determination of the direction is approximated. A 1-degree reading error on the dial may give a 20-meter mistake in the field for each km away.
Navigating Using the North Star (Polar Star)
By its position, the Polar Star fixes the direction of the north and gives us the opportunity to orient us. Extending the north direction in the opposite direction to the Polar Star, we have the south direction. The north-south route is the direction of the geographical meridian of the place.
Looking north, we have the east (or east) and left west (or west). The four points of the horizon — the north, south, east, west — are called cardinal points.
Knowing the position of the Polar Star affects our orientation at night.
To do this, we extend the line linking the last two wheels of the Grand Crane with a distance five times greater than the distance between them.
The angle between the visual radius towards the Polar Star and the horizon is the height above the background for this star. Regarding this, we make the following findings: when we move along the meridian in the north direction, because the Earth is spherical, we notice that the Polar Star has an increased height.
At the North Pole, the Polar Star can be seen above the head (at the zenith). But if we are moving to the equatorial lands, the Polar Star is seen lower and lower, with a height above the horizon. At the Equator, this coordinate becomes zero.
As is known, the value in degrees from the equator to a given location (measured along the meridian of that area) is called the latitude of the locality.
The height above the Polaire horizon coincides with the latitude of the place where we find ourselves. For example, if the height of the Polar is 470, the scope of the locality is 470.
Other Orientation Methods:
- The shells of the isolated tree bark are oriented to the North;
- The muscles on the confined walls of the rock are facing the North;
- The trees are thicker in the North;
- The bird nests are directed to the South;
The difference between S-slopes and those oriented towards N:
- On the southern slopes (or at the south side of the roofs, fences, rocks) the snow melts more rapidly.
- On the southern slopes, the forest advances more in altitude.
- On the southern slopes, the shadow of objects is thinner.
- The vineyard culture prefers the southern slopes.
- On the northern slopes, there is more moisture.
- The brightness is lower between 8:00 and 16:00 on the northern slopes.
It is not hard to navigate using conventional methods. In the era of digital navigation systems and smartphones, navigation is made easy. All you have to do is open the map app on your phone and just type your destination. But it is good to know other navigation methods as well. You may never know when you may need them!