Thursday, January 29, 2015

Survival kit part 2 finding our way (navigation)

Well we've got our container now it's time to start filling it with goodies.  I'm not starting in any particular order, this is just how it works out easiest for me to do.

Navigation.  To be honest finding our way here in the UK isn't such a big deal, theres very few places that are totally miles from anywhere or anything.  That said it can be tricky if it's dark with no stars or if your in forestry.
From the stars.
I'd suggest you learn how to find the pole star here in the UK ( or the southern cross if your down south).   It's actually really easy to find just look for the big dipper (Ursa major) sometimes called the great bear.  Then find the little dipper (Ursa minor) they both look like saucepans, the big dipper is the one with the bent handle. then from the two stars on the side of the saucepan of the big dipper draw a line towards the end of the handle of the little dipper, the star on the end of the handle is the pole star.  Thus you've found true north (slightly off from magnetic north but don't worry about it)

Using your watch and the sun.
If you have a proper watch with hands it's easy, {if you don't draw the time and the numbers like a watch face on a bit of paper and use that} Point the hour hand at the sun  holding the watch flat. then simply divide the angle between the hour hand and the twelve o clock position on the watch that points roughly south.

Satellite dishes.
Here in the UK most satellite dishes point roughly southeast.

Many Christian churches are aligned east/west, while mosques are a bit trickier as you have to get inside, somewhere there's a niche in the wall that faces Mecca.  Synagogues have the Torah ark at the eastern end.

A compass.
By far the easiest way is to buy a compass, these are really cheap these days, many pound/dime stores sell them, I found a set of 5 button compass on ebay recently for under a pound.  I'd suggest you carry a small button compass most of the time, you wont notice it in a pocket.  Just remember to keep it away from metal when you use it, unlike a mate of mine who stuck his compass to his rifle and wondered why he kept going the wrong way... Well you didn't think we'd tell him did you!

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