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Author: Steve Smakin
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How to Find Directions When Lost

People who frequently go out into the wild have to be acquainted with the different methods of finding directions when lost.

You should always go out into the wilderness with a map and a compass because this is essential to ensuring that you return safely.

Needless to say, you should also know how to use them correctly. This will guide you to the closest place of human habitation.

It will also help you find your way to a river in case you need water or a mountain peak so that you can signal for help.

There are, however, certain circumstances could cause you to be separated from the normal methods of finding direction.

Your life will be at serious risk in such a case. A little bit of preparation in the form of learning other methods of finding direction will help you get back alive.

You will have to get back to basics in order to find directions when you are lost without a compass.

The Pole Star has been of help to travelers and sailors in the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years and it can help you as well if you know how to use it.

Needless to say, this method only works if you know how to identify it in the night sky. The Big Dipper constellation is easy to spot if you know what it looks like.

The stars that make up the ladle of this constellation point directly at the North Star.

Similarly, another constellation called Cassiopeia also points at this star.

Once you know where the North is you can figure out the direction you have to take.

You should also keep track of when the moon rises.

If it rises while the sun is still in the process of setting, the part of the sky that is illuminated will be the West.

If, on the other hand, the moon rises after midnight, the illuminated part of the sky will be east.

These stars will not be visible during the daytime, but you can get an idea of where East lies based upon where the sun rises from.

You will have to use the Sun Shadow method in order to track your direction as the day progresses.

You have to first place a stick into the ground so that it stands upright a couple of feet. Place a stone at the point where its shadow ends.

Wait for an hour or so to see where the shadow has moved and place a stone there as well. The line between these two stones indicates the West – East direction, since the sun moves in the sky from the East to the West. North is perpendicular to this line and heading away from the sun.

If you have found your direction based upon these methods but still would like to make sure you should carefully examine the trees you pass.

Most of them will have plants and moss growing on one side only and this is likely to be the South.

The same applies to the slopes of mountains. This is because the North facing part receives less sunlight.

Remember however, that this method is only to be used in order to verify whether the other methods are correct. All put, these methods should help you get back to safety without a problem.

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