Source: Eastern Mountain Sports
Finding your way in the woods can be as simple as ensuring you’re on the correct route or as serious as a key to survival. Here are a few methods to find your way.
That giant fireball In the sky isn’t just a sunburn machine: it’s actually a useful directional tool
Placing a stick in some level ground, make a mark at the end of its shadow. This will be your west mark. After 15 minutes or so, make another mark as the shadow moves. This will be your east mark. Drawing o straight line between the two points gives you west to east Standing with the west mark to your left and east to your right faces you approximately north. Now go find some sunscreen.
Bigfoots and bears may be out at night, so it’s best to know where you’re headed. No sun. you say? No big deal. In the northern hemisphere, the North Star is only 1 degree off true north and is the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper constellation. An imaginary line drawn to the ground is your guide. However, if Bigfoot is chasing you, any direction will do.
If you’re lost you may also be hungry, but before you start eating the local flora, see if it can give you some directional clues first In the northern hemisphere, growth should be lusher on a southern-facing side of a tree. Vegetation and moisture on slopes facing north will be cooler and damper since they receive less sun. In the winter, southern slopes will end up losing snow off trees first. Enjoy your clover stew, facing north.
Globa! Positioning Systems, or GPS, can be invaluable for those who plan ahead and bring them along for the trip. Modern GPS units are packed with features that allow you to track your route, determine distance, and show direction, altitude and even a digital compass, A paper map and traditional compass are useful to have in conjunction with a GPS. and allow you maximum visibility into where you’re and where you’re headed. Always put your best foot forward, and make sure it’s in the right direction.