How to Determine Direction

Page 2


"Why must I be able to determine direction?" you may ask.


If you never set foot outside of the city, you may never have the need to determine which direction is north or south. You probably wouldn't care that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But, once you venture outside the confines of urban development, being able to determine which direction is which can be a serious matter. 


For the traveler, it might be useful to tell that your driving east instead of south. Chances are, you will get to where you want to go a lot faster if you go the right direction. For the treasure hunter, knowing that the buried cache of gold coins is located somewhere in the the dry wash west of Eagle Peak is pretty important. For the outdoor adventurer who finds himself lost, knowing that help is southwest is critical. 


You should be able to determine direction, day or night, using several different means. That way, no matter what situation you find yourself in, you will always know north from south. 


Probably the most common and well known way of determining direction is the compass. The compass was first invented by sailors who needed a way to determine direction without having to keep land in sight. Now, the compass is available for everyone to use. See our section of the use of a compass.



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What if you don't have a compass, or your compass took a hit and no longer works? Then you will have to rely on one of the field expedient methods of determining direction.


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