Sol

If you get lost during the day, anywhere, without a map a compass or GPS hand, the best method to find your way is to look up. The movement of the sun can indicate true north. But to use this solar guide, you need to remember some important things. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west. At noon, he's in the middle of the horizon and continues southwards. This means that when you are facing the sun at noon, walk towards it will take you south. If it is on your back, you'll be walking north. In the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite happens.

Watch
HowStuffWorks You can use your watch to find true north

If not noon and you want to know its direction during daylight, one clock analog can replace a compass. First, make sure that it is marking the time right. Then point the hour hand at the sun. Holding the clock in place, imagine an angle formed by the hour hand and a line 12 to the center of the clock. Draw an imaginary line dividing this angle in half. This line indicates the south in the Northern Hemisphere. During the summer time, create the angle from the first, and not the 12.

In the Southern Hemisphere, point the 12 at the sun. Then, form an imaginary angle between the hour hand and a line 12 to the center of the clock. The line that divides in half this angle represents north.

Has no clock? No problem. Once you know the right time, you can draw your own clock on a paper and use it the same way.

shadow sol
You can use a rod and the shadows of the sun to find true north Approximate

To know another way to find your way, find a stick (which will be stuck to the floor) and a large sunny location. For this, remember that when the sun makes the shadows, they are in the opposite direction to its position in the sky. This means that when the sun is in the east side of the sky, the shadows point to the west.

Grab a rod, preferably with 1 meter high, and stab it into the ground in a sunny area, so you can see the shadow of the rod. Use a rock or other sharp object and mark the tip of that shadow on the ground. As the shadows move from west to east during the day, this means the first point west.

Wait about 15 minutes and check to see where the shadow of the rod moved. Now you should have two marks on the floor: the first represents the west and the second east. If you draw a line between the two points, you will have a general idea of ​​its east-west line. From there, you can draw a north-south line at an angle of 90 degrees to the east-west line.

Moss
Chris Cheadle / Getty Images In the Southern Hemisphere, the moss on the north side of the trees is usually greener

Other clues in nature that help guide you to true north though these are not accurate directional guidance there.

  • Moss on trees - although the common convention sustain that moss grows on the north side of the trees, this is not always the case. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, the moss on the south side will be thicker and green because that side often receives a higher amount of sun. In the Southern Hemisphere, this phenomenon happens in the North face.
     
  • Trees - the bark can be darker, and the branches extended over the sky in the south side of the trees, as it does not get much sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, the logic is reversed.
     
  • Slush - In the Northern Hemisphere, snow can melt faster in the southern (warmer) side of the mountains or rocky surfaces.
     
  • Anthills - ants in the Southern Hemisphere, usually build their nests on the north side of the trees, where it is warmer.

Now, we know how to find true north during the day. But what about when it is dark? Read the next page to learn how to find true north by the moon and stars.