Preparedness Quick Tip #45: Use Your Watch as a Compass:
Besides the fact that they are just way cooler than digital watches, analog watches have another use – a survival tool!
How it works:
Simply take your watch off your arm, hold it parallel to the ground, face facing upward. Turn until the hour hand is pointing at the sun. 1/2 way between the hour and 12 going clockwise, in the mornings, is an indication of south. On that same line, going the opposite direction would lead you northwards. If you’re in the afternoon/evening, take that same measurement going counter clockwise.
What could possible go wrong?
This method is not 100% accurate, even less so the closer to the Tropics you get, or in high summer/winter when the sun’s position can play with the results, and assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere on a day not covered in clouds, but if you’ve got no other way to figure out where north is, approximately, this is a good skill to have tried and practiced. Just remember to check often, and understand that there is no ‘true’ north or south with this method – but it can get you started along your way. There are other methods of finding your way, but you can add this to your skill set.
You’ll also need to take in mind if you practice Daylight Savings time — just set your hour hand back an hour before taking measurements.
I always love to give you Preparedness Quick Tips that are sure hits, but this is one that you can add to the pile of ‘mights’ that takes some practice to use. When you see that family who is always walking around with their watch in their hand practicing some weird voodoo with a watch – you’ll know that’s us!
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