Finding Compass Directions During Day


Find Directions Without a Compass


By Gary Benton

Just face the direction of the sun coming up, and bingo, you have your GENERAL directions. Remember, the sun rises in the east and set in the west. This does NOT take into consider magnetic deviations, but it's a good general direction method.

If you have a watch with moving hands, not digital, you can use it as sort of a compass as you move as well. Position the hands so east is at your 3 O'clock position, North at your 12 O'clock, South at your 6 O'clock, and 9 O'clock will be West. You can then use the other numbers to move in different directions, i.e., 1 O'clock will be North by East, 2 O'clock will be even a more eastern direction with 3 O'clock full east. It is not super accurate, but will get you headed in a good general direction.

You can orient you map, in general terms, if you have one as well, by turning the eastern portion of the map to the rising sun and then the map should be lined up. With a good topographical map, you should be able to determine at that point, terrain you may be able to walk over or have to go around. It's almost like dead reckoning, but it'll get you close to where you need to be.

I highly suggest you only move if you are forced to move by bad weather or you know exactly where you are and where you are going. Many people try to walk out of survival situations, have no idea where they are or where they are going. As a result, most die from exposure to the elements.





Find Directions


Gary Benton has over 45 years of outdoor experience in camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities. He's no armchair survival man, he's walked the walk from the arctic to the desert and all the area in between. Gary has an associates degree in Search and Rescue, Survival Operations, a B.S. in Industrial Occupational safety, and all but his thesis completed for a M.S. in Counseling Psychology.
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