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HOW TO: Find North without a compass

By Holly May 5, 2015 4:56:50 PM

When you're out in the wild, every little trick and useful piece of knowledge that you've got could be the one that saves your life - or just saves you from getting incredibly lost. Here's a handy trick to help you find North without a compass. You never know when it may come in handy!

wikihow find north

Push a stick into the ground so that it's standing straight up. Make sure the area around it is clear and flat so that you can easily follow the shadow.

Mark where the end point (the point farthest away from the base of the stick) is on the ground. You can do this with a small scratch mark or a small pebble; the smaller the better, but make sure you can still see it.

Wait for about 15 minutes. The end point of the shadow will begin to move slowly across the ground.

Mark the new position of the shadow-tip. It should be a small way away from the original marking.

Draw a straight line between the two marks. This is the East-West line.

Stand with the West point (the first mark) to your left and the East point (the second mark) to your right. You are now facing due North!


Have you got any handy wilderness tricks to keep you right when you're trekking? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Topics: camping, camping hacks, Camping Hacks, compass, directions, find North, how-to, How To, Outdoor Life, trekking, wilderness