Outdoors blog


Use Your Watch As A Compass

If you are lost, then use your watch as a compass.

There are times when we set out in the hopes of finding a dash of adventure and get served a whole boatload of it.

You may plan a hiking trip with some of your friends and while walking along the path decide that you need more thrill out of it.

One bad decision could lead to another and you may end up leaving the trail behind and exploring the raw wilderness awaiting you beyond.

Since you would not be familiar with the paths and trees, unfortunately, tend to look more or less identical, you and your group may find out that you are undeniably lost. Since people do not always carry a map or GPS with them when they feel a spark of recklessness, you may be left only with your wits and possibly a watch. To find out how you can use this watch to find your way back read on.

The Northern Hemisphere:

You should definitely not forget that the difference between whether you are present in the northern hemisphere or the southern can completely alter the route that you need to take.

If you are stuck in an unknown location in the northern hemisphere and you happen to have an analog watch on you, it will not be hard to find your way back. The first thing to do is to take off your watch and hold it out towards the sun in your hands. The reason why you need an analog watch rather than a digital one to make this work is that it has the hour and minute hands that are needed to line up the different directions.

Once you hold your watch up, align the hour hand with the sun and point it there. You will however need to be careful of the timings as if it is before noon you need to go clockwise and in the afternoon it will have to be measured counter-clockwise. When you have the hand lined up, find the bisecting line that cuts right between that hand and the 12 o’clock marking. This will point out north for you.

The Southern Hemisphere:

The southern hemisphere will more or less require the same tactics but with a bit of an added twist. Much the same you need to hold up your watch in your hand towards the sun so that it is aligned. However, this time the 12 o’clock mark will be aimed at the sun rather than the hour hand, effectively reversing the previous method.

Once more, you need to draw up an imaginary line cutting through the middle of the 12 o’clock mark and the hour hand, and the direction that it will point to will be north. The one pointing directly the opposite will of course be south.

This way you will have an entirely functional compass that can help you find your way back to a place populated with enough people that can help you figure a way out of the mess. Do make sure that the sun is properly visible in the day when you choose to use this method for as much accuracy as you can get out of it. That is a vital aspect when you have nothing else to go by and could mean the difference between life and death in extreme situations.

Other Compass Tricks:

Though the trick with the analog watch is highly useful one should definitely branch out and be updated on the rest as well. If it is nighttime for example and you may have to wait for hours for the sun to come up yet you just want to get out of there already, you can simply look for Polaris or the North Star which will show you where north is.

It is not easy to find your bearings especially if panic takes root when you get lost. Being crafty and knowing such tips and tricks can get you out of tight spots and situations that can turn nasty really fast. Make sure that you are always able to find out which direction to go towards so that you are never truly lost.

Leave a Reply