Finding Your Way Back Home

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You have been probably taught how to use a compass and map to get you back home. However, what if you don’t have any of those tools. What do you do then?

You might be Traveling through an unfamiliar areas and and you have no idea how to get back home. Don’t be scared, there are ways. History has taught us how to determine direction using indicators in nature. We can use these naturally occurring clues to help us find our way. Did you know that when the sun rises, it always rises from the east…and when it sets, it sets in the west. So you already know your direction just by remembering where the sun set, you should be good to go.

Another way of using a primitive navigation is to locate the North Star. Everyone should know the big dipper. Its very easy to find, all you do is look at the two stars that make up the outer edge of the pan on the big dipper. Draw an invisible line connecting those two stars which extend to the open of the pan. This line will lead you to the North Star. It is also the last star on the pan handle of the small dipper.

Knowing where the North Star rests in the sky will help you find all four compass directions. But, that only works at night, what about during the day?

Find a reasonably straight stick and stick it in the ground. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the shadow created by the stick will point in a northern direction. Place a golf ball size rock at the top of the stick’s shadow. Come back in 15-20 minutes and you’ll see the shadow has moved a bit. Place another rock at the new location. Do the same thing 2-3 more times and you’ll have a line of rocks that follows a generally east-west direction. The shadow still points north so the rock line to the left points west and the line to the right points east.

Knowing how to find basic compass direction in either of those situations could be quite crucial.

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