Features > Camping > Use Your Watch As A Compass


Use Your Watch As A Compass



This method varies depending on what hemisphere you are in. If you don't know which hemisphere you are currently in, you'll need more than just directional help. Your watch needs a “face” on it. That is the old fashioned dial with numbers and hands. If you use a digital watch, you'll just have to imagine the numbers on it.

Northern Hemisphere

  1. Hold the watch so it is flat in your hand and even with the ground. Point the hour hand toward the sun.
  2. Use something like a matchstick and set it on the watch face so one end or the head covers the number that is halfway between the 12 and the hour hand. (Use 1 instead of 12 if you are in daylight savings time.)
  3. The head or the end that is covering the number is pointing south. Assuming your stick is straight, the other end is heading north.

Southern Hemisphere

  1. This first step is the difference between the two hemispheres. Hold the watch so it is flat in your hand and even with the ground. Point the number 12 toward the sun.
  2. Use something like a matchstick and set it on the watch face so one end or the head covers the number that is halfway between the 12 and the hour hand. (Use 1 instead of 12 if you are in daylight savings time.)
  3. The head or the end that is covering the number is pointing south. Assuming your stick is straight, the other end is heading north.

I still love my ranger compass but I don't always have it with me so this method suffices. And it takes less time than drawing an arc in the dirt around a stick .

Have you used this method and saved your butt in the wild?




Adam | Oct 17, 2009 | Category: Camping

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