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7 Ways To Find True North Without A Compass


If push comes to the shove and you need to find the true north without a compass, you must know how to do that to survive. We’ll tell you how today!

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In this article 😛 TAGEND

Shadow-Tip Method Stars in the Northern Hemisphere Stars in the Southern Hemisphere Stars in the Equator A Watch in the Northern Hemisphere A Watch in the Southern Hemisphere Sun’s Direction

Outdoor Survival Kit | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Finding True North: Navigate Outdoors Without a Compass

1. Shadow-Tip Method

A woman digging soil with bamboo stick to plant tree | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass There are three essential components in using a stick to act as a true north compass: the sun, a stick, and the stick’s shadow.

Place a stick upright on level ground where it can cast a shadow. Mark the tip-off of the shadow and wait for about 10 -1 5 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 largest mark on with your right. Doing this would attain you stand in front of the true north.

2. Starrings in the Northern Hemisphere

What is the Northern Hemisphere? The portion of the globe above the equator. The Northern Hemisphere consists of 90% of the world’s whole population.

Looking at the stars in the northern hemisphere is one of the most efficient way on how to find true north without a compass. This is a good method to utilize when the stars are shining brightly in the clear night skies.

Locate the Big Dipper constellation and describe an imaginary line on its two outer stars.

In sky lore, these two starrings are called Dubhe and Merak. The line points to Polaris which is the last star in the Little Dipper constellation.

Now that you detected Polaris, just describe an imaginary line downward and that is where the true north is.

3. Starrings in the Southern Hemisphere

Night sky in the Southern hemisphere with milkway at moonrise | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the North star will not be visible. Hence, you will be required to look for the Little Dipper instead.

Look for the Southern Cross, which is composed of five starrings and is angled on one side. Put five imaginary lines as big as a long time axis of the Southern Cross in front of its angled side. From there, describe another imaginary line downward — this points toward the true south. Thus, this makes the opposite direction the true north.

4. Starrings in the Equator

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 superstar of the belt downward will point you to the true north.

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5. A Watch in the Northern Hemisphere

A person wearing wristwatch with nature background | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass Hold your watch horizontally and make sure the hour hand phases at the sunlight. Bisect that angle you assure between your watch’s hour hand and the 12 o’clock — this angle is the north-south line.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the sunshine is in the south when it’s midday, so opposite of it will be where north is. If, on the other hand, you follow daylight saving period, then bisect it with the 1 o’clock instead of 12.

6. A Watch in the Southern Hemisphere

Male jogger running training in woods | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass When you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, phase the 12 o’clock at the sun or 1 o’clock if it’s on daylight saving period. Bisect a line from the hour hand and the one pointed at the sunshine, which induces your north-south line.

Since you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the sunshine is due north at midday, resulting you to where the true north is.

7. Sun’s Direction

Sunset | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass Knowing where the sunshine is positioned will help you find where the true north is. Technically, the sunlight rises in the east and sets in the west.

So by early morning, watch where the sunlight rises. The true north will be a quarter turn counterclockwise from that direction.

On the other hand, if you insure the sunset, which is the west direction, the north is roughly a quarter turn clockwise from that direction.

Download or reference this infographic for future reference.

Infographic | Ways To Find True North Without A Compass

Of course, discovering the true north is simpler if you have a compass, so it’s best to always keep one in your bug out container. But in situations in which there’s none, learning the above-mentioned routes can help you out in seeing your way back.

I’ve tried the shadow-tip technique and it ran perfectly. The downside, though, is you need to have sunlight to be able to use the method used so it will be hard to rely on this one after sunset.

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


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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 11, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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