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Use a watch as a compass

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Whether you're hiking, climbing or traveling in the great outdoors, a compass is an essential tool for navigation. Having one can save your life, especially in an emergency situation when you're lost. You don't need to be panicked if one isn't available or you don’t possess one.

Using a Watch as a Compass

Here's a simple trick to use your analog watch to determine direction if you are ever lost in the woods, or on the coast. This method works best if you have a clear view to the sun.

First, position the watch horizontally so that the hour hand aligns with the position of sun. The position of the sun at the center point between these alignments and the 12 o’clock position on your watch is the North Hemisphere.

Next, draw an imaginary straight line that runs from the 12-o'clock position on a watch dial to its center. North is represented by the line that intersects this angle.

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This is not a perfect method, and it won’t work in the dark, but it’s enough to get out of a jam. It's also quite simple!

Analog Watches are used as a Compass

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, the best way to use your analog watch as a compass is to point the hour hand at the sun. Imagine an imaginary angle between a watch's hour hand (or the position at 12 oclock) and a line that runs through the middle of the watch. This will represent north and the line that runs from the center of the watch will divide it.

This technique will work in the Southern Hemisphere. However, the point of reference is different. Instead of pointing your hour hand at sun, you will need to point at the 12 hours mark.

Once you have the angle, you will be able to plot other directions. Although the compass won't give you exact bearings, it's better than having no idea where you are going!

Finding Direction with a Watch

The accuracy of your compass depends on which watch you are using. This can have an affect on your compass readings. So it's important that you make sure that the watch you use is correctly set, and that it's not being powered via daylight saving or other factors.

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This technique can be used even if your digital watch is not working. But it's best that you set the watch to the correct hour. You also need to keep in mind that this technique won't work if you're using daylight savings time, or if the watch isn't being wound frequently.

How to Find Direction With a Watch

This method isn’t exact, but it’s enough to get you through the door. An electronic compass is a more accurate way to find your way if you're in a new place or don't know how to navigate.


Why are knot-tying skills very important for survival?

All around the world, people use knots for tying together ropes or fishing lines. You can also use them to tie bags closed, secure objects to trees and create shelters. A basic skill, making knots, can save lives.

How to Navigate Without or With a Compass

A compass is not able to tell you where your destination is, but it can help guide you back home if necessary.

You can navigate using three different methods:

  1. By landmarks
  2. By magnetic North (using a compass)
  3. By stars

These are objects you recognize immediately when you come across them. They can include buildings, trees, rivers, and others. Landmarks provide visual clues to where you live.

Magnetic North is simply the direction in which the Earth's magnetic field points. If you look up at a skyline, you will notice that the sun seems to be moving across it. The earth's magnetic field actually causes sun to move around. So, while the sun seems to move across the sky, it really moves around the horizon. At noon, the sun is directly overhead. At midnight, the sun will be directly below you. The magnetic field on the earth changes daily, so the direction of the North pole's magnetic North pole can change every day. This means that sometimes you may be off course for quite a while.

Another way to navigate is with stars. Stars appear over the horizon to rise and lower. These are fixed points in space that you can use to determine your location relative to other locations.

What should you do first in a survival situation

In an emergency situation, you must assess the situation first. You must know what's happening, where you are, how you got there.

Also, you need to be aware of what your environment can offer. If you live in a remote area, communication may be impossible.

You don't need to know everything if you don’t have any knowledge.

If you are in immediate danger, it's best to try and get help immediately. If you're safe, you may want to spend some time gathering information and trying to figure out what has happened.


  • Without one, your head and neck can radiate up to 40 percent of your body heat. (dec.ny.gov)
  • In November of 1755, an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 6.0 and a maximum intensity of VIII occurred about 50 miles northeast of Boston, Massachusetts. (usgs.gov)
  • Not only does it kill up to 99.9% of all waterborne bacteria and parasites, but it will filter up to 1,000 liters of water without the use of chemicals. (hiconsumption.com)
  • so you can be 100 percent hands-free, and there's less chance you'll put your torch down and lose it. (nymag.com)

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How To

How to Build A Lean-To Shelter

Lean-tos are small structures found throughout the United States. These structures are made mostly from wood or metal poles that are covered with tarps, canvas, sheeting or corrugated roofing material. The walls, floor and ceiling are often built first. After that, the roof is added.

A lean-to is a temporary shelter constructed at the side of a building when the weather does not permit the construction of a permanent shelter. It may also be referred to as a "lean-to shed," "lean-to cabin," or "lean-to house."

There are many types o lean tos.

  1. A simple wooden frame with a tarpaulin cover. This type of leaning-to is very common in rural locations.
  2. A lean-to tent consisting of a framework of poles supporting a tarpaulin.
  3. A lean-to cabin, also known as a "cabin-on-frame," consists of a platform supported by posts and beams.
  4. A lean-to shed, also called a "shelter-on-a-pole" or "paddock shed," consists of a framework of poles and supports with a cover.
  5. A lean-to garage also called a "garage-on-stilts" or "overhang," consists of a steel framework resting on concrete stilts.
  6. A lean to studio is also known by the names "studio-on a-frame" and "studio-on a-post". It consists a framework consisting of two parallel horizontal members, (posts), as well as one perpendicular member.
  7. A lean-to greenhouse, also called a "greenhouse-on-a-post," consists of three parallel horizontal members (posts), one perpendicular member (beam), and a canopy.


Use a watch as a compass