Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Are you scared of

getting lost

in the woods? Well, if you know how to find the true north you shouldn’t be too worried. Knowing

how to use a compass

in finding the true north is one of the basic survival skills, but what would you do if there’s no compass available?

Finding True North: Navigate Outdoors Without A Compass

Check out 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass at https://survivallife.com/true-north-without-compass/

1. Shadow-Tip Method

Shadow-Tip Method | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

There are three essential components in using this method: the sun, a stick, and the stick’s shadow.

  • Place a stick upright on a leveled ground where it can cast a shadow.
  • Mark the tip of the shadow and wait for about 10-15 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 mark on with your right. Doing this would make you stand in front of the true north.

2. Stars in the Northern Hemisphere

Stars in the Northern Hemisphere | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Stars in the Northern Hemisphere | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

There are three essential components in using this method: the sun, a stick, and the stick’s shadow.

This is a good method to use when the stars are shining 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 found Polaris, just draw an imaginary line downward and that is where the true north is.

3. Stars in the Southern Hemisphere

Stars in the Southern Hemisphere | 7 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.
  • Put five imaginary lines as big as the longest 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 makes the opposite direction the true north.

4. Stars in the Equator

Stars in the Equator | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Stars in the Equator | 7 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.

In this method, you’ll be using Orion’s Belt to navigate. It runs from east to west, so you can project a line from these directions. Projecting another line starting from the middle star of the belt downward would point you to the true north.


RELATED:

Primitive Navigation Without a Map or Compass

5. A Watch in the Northern Hemisphere

A Watch in the Northern Hemisphere | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Hold your watch horizontally and make sure the hour hand points at the sun. Bisect that angle you see between your watch’s hour hand and the 12 o’clock — this angle is the north-south line.

Hold your watch horizontally and make sure the hour hand points at the sun. Bisect that angle 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 would be where north is. If, on the other hand, you follow daylight saving time, then bisect it with the 1 o’clock instead of 12.

6. A Watch in the Southern Hemisphere

A Watch in the Southern Hemisphere | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

When you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, point the 12 o’clock at the sun or 1 o’clock if it’s on daylight saving time. 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 sun is due north in midday, leading you to where the true north is.

7. Sun’s Direction

When you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, point the 12 o’clock at the sun or 1 o’clock if it’s on daylight saving time. 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 sun is due north in midday, leading you to where the true north is.

Sun's Direction | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Knowing where the sun is positioned will help you find where the true north is. Technically, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Knowing where the sun is positioned will help 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 sun rises. The true north will be a quarter turn counterclockwise from that direction. On the other hand, if you see the sun set, which is the west direction, the north is roughly a quarter turn clockwise from that direction.


Learn the difference between the true north and the magnetic north by watching this video from ScienceOnline:

Of course, finding the true north would be simpler if you

have a compass

, so it’s best to always keep one in your

bug out bag

. But in cases when there’s none, learning the above-mentioned ways could help you out in finding your way back. I’ve tried the shadow-tip method and it worked perfectly. The downside though is you need to have sunlight to be able to use this method so it would be hard to rely on this one after sunset.

True North | 7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass


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


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Shadow Tip Navigation Method, Watch Method Navigation, Using the Stars Navigation, Letting the Sun Guide You Navigation, Letting the Moon Guide You at Night Navigation, Moss and Other Vegetation Navigation, Making a Compass

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