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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
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Default Finding your way without a GPS, Compass, Or a Map

Have you ever thought "What if I somehow got lost?" if not then you should. It can happen to the best of us unexpectedly. Hiking with the proper directional tools is highly recommended, even if you don't use them in case of emergency. But what if you relied on directional tools (gps, compass, map, etc.) and somehow they got damaged or lost during a hike, without any alternate direction finding knowledge. Whether it fell off a cliff, dropped/lost in the snow, battery dies in your GPS or damaged by water etc. Somehow you are on your own with direction finding and deep in the bush. Darkness or storms setting in can make things worse as well. How would you find your way?

There are several ways you can find direction without a map, gps or compass that many people do not realise that can be used in an emergency and are very simple. They may not be as 100% accurate as a compass or gps but can somewhat point you in the right direction, and possibly keep you from going in circles.

You can find direction by different ways such as the sun, moon, stars, trees / plants and more, in a worst case scenario. You can use items such as a stick and some rocks, a watch with a face dial, paper and a pen, to help direction find.

What is most important is that you should always do as many checks as you can before coming to a conclusion of which way is the right way if you are lost, to verify direction. Also some say you should stay put, these methods of direction are for those in the most dire need.

Do you know a great way to direction find that isn't mentioned? Or do you have a method of direction finding without the use of directional tools that has helped you in a bad situation? Please do share.

Here are several web pages I've read or viewed that I found interesting and knowledgeable.
Youtube Videos:

Information Page:

If you learn something that is great, if they save you someday even better . If you already knew all this, that's great too. I was going to post this thread some time ago but didn't, better late than never. I am in no way a direction finding expert but found these methods interesting.

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