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How to find what are you looking for without a compass. Most of basic equipment that today’s hikers take with them on a trips and adventures include compass, simple but not at all least important part of the equipment. If it is not included as a special gadget it most definitely waits for serving its purpose as an app on mobile devices. But what if – even if you have a hardware /software back-up – all of the options tragically fail? Or if you want a challenge?

To avoid unwanted risks as exhaustion, hypothermia and dehydration we decided to detail some suggestions how to help you navigate in the wild, wild nature.

When sun shines

Choose a long object which has to be around 1 meter high. Stick it to the ground on the flat, shadow-free area. Mark the tip of the shadow and after half an hour mark the new tip of the shadow. Connect the tips with a straight line, which indicates the west – east direction. If you stand with the first mark (west) on your left and the second (east) on your right, you are facing approximate north. This method is less accurate during midday.


Do you know what the time is?

Line the hour hand with the sun. If you do not have the analogue watch just draw one with an hour hand on the actual time. Imagine a split line coming from the centre of your watch between the hour hand and where the 12 o’clock is. The imaginary line shows the direction of the south. It works only north of the equator, on the southern hemisphere you have to turn the roles of 12 o’clock and the hour hand.

Are you lost under the starry sky?

Just sit down and take some time star-gazing with benefits. Choose your favourite one (just make sure it is not a satellite) and observe its movement. If it moves towards left, you are facing north. If it moves right, you are facing south. If it rises the direction before you is east, if it descends it’s west. Use a tree or other high object for reference of star’s movement.

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