Features > Camping > How To Find North Without A Compass

How To Find North Without A Compass

How To find North without a compass or watch

Before noon and on level terrain, put a stick of around 3ft into the ground. Look for it's shadow. (If it's cloudy enough that you don't have any shadow at all…well, this won't work and you'll have to just wish you had a compass or for some sun.)

Compass in the sand - Photo by treehouse1977

Compass in the sand - Photo by treehouse1977

Mark the end of this shadow. You can use a stone, stick or whatever is handy.

Use the tip of this shadow for your radius and draw an arc around your stick in the ground. The shadow will get shorter as noon approaches. After noon, it will get longer again. Mark the arc again where the new afternoon shadow touches your arc.

You now have two marked spots. Draw a straight line between the two marks. This makes an East-West line in the dirt. The first mark is in the west and the second is towards the east.

Make a cross. Draw a line that forms right angles across your first line. This is your North-South line.

Compass in the snow - Photo by Uigers

Compass in the snow - Photo by Uigers

Have you done this before? How did it work in your situation?

Adam | Oct 16, 2009 | Category: Camping

AllStays Pro Online

Pure information, faster, no ads, privacy, full screen maps, more filters, layers for weather, traffic, biking, transit, over half a million search combinations. Join now

Feature Categories

  • Air Travel
  • Best of
  • Boondocking
  • Camping
  • Cruise
  • Family
  • General
  • Green
  • Haunted
  • Luxury
  • Money Savings
  • Overnight Parking
  • Pet-Friendly
  • RV Tips
  • Security
  • Technology
  • Train
  • Travel Tips
  • Unique Getaways
  • More Posts


    Featured Apps

    AllStays Hotels By Chain
    Find all kinds of beds near you. All the chains. The only app that puts you one button from the front desk. The data is stored in the app so you aren't waiting to download information (or ads). Works with or without service.
    Camp & RV
    The number one camping app. From resorts to hike-in spots. Amenities, maps, truck stops, rest areas, Wal-mart and casino parking and much more.

    Most Recent Posts


    ⇑ Top