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    WTSHTF, an individual may well find themselves without a compass and/or with an inoperable GPS. The ability to determine cardinal directions may enable an individual to navigate safely to his or her retreat location or to another known friendly sanctuary. Have a plan to move to your retreat location by BoV, but also by LPC (leather personnel carrier, also known as a “boot”). Have primary and alternate routes; plan for the natural and man-made obstacles that you will cross and what to do if the bridge is gone, the tunnel has collapsed, or if the small town you were going to pass through is now sealed off. Get a set of good maps; take a long weekend and recon your routes. As necessary and if practical, cache supplies along your route(s). Have a plan and work your plan. Remember, the more familiar you are with the routes to your retreat or safe area the less you will need to rely on any navigational aids.

    You should have at least two compasses (primary & alternate) as part of your BoB, even if you use a GPS; remember in a true SHTF situation, GPS satellites could be disabled (by military- our own or someone else’s- or even by a disgruntled programmer). GPS is great, but you should never 100% rely on it, because just when you need it most, it may not be there for you.

    Own a compass and know how to use it; have topographic maps covering your primary and alternate routes to your retreat and know how to read them; how to orient the terrain features on the map to the terrain features on the ground- navigating by terrain association, no compass required. The more and varied terrain in your area, the more effectively you can navigate via terrain association.

    Two excellent methods for determining approximate true north that are easy to use when there is sunlight are the shadow-tip and the watch method.
    1.) Shadow Tip Method: Use the sun to find approximate true north. This method can be used any time the sun is bright enough for a stick to cast a shadow. Find/make a fairly straight stick about three feet long and place the stick upright in the ground where it will cast a shadow. Mark the end of the shadow with another stick, rock, or similar object. Wait 15-20 minutes and then mark the end of the shadow again with another object. Place your left heel on the second object with the toes of your left foot pointing towards the first stone. Your foot will be pointing approximately due west; raise your right arm straight out from your side and will be pointing north.
    2.) Watch method. You can also determine direction using a standard conventional watch. DIGITAL WATCH WILL NOT WORK! The steps you take will depend on whether you are in the northern Temperate Zone or in the southern Temperate Zone. The northern temperate zone is located between 23.5 north (Tropic of Cancer) and 66.5 north (Arctic Circle). The southern Temperate Zone is located between 23.5 south (Tropic of Capricorn) and 66.6 south (Antarctic Circle).
    A.) Procedures in the northern temperate zone using a conventional watch are as follows:
    (1) Place a small stick in the ground so that it casts a definite shadow.
    (2) Place your watch on the ground so that the hour hand points toward and along the shadow of the stick.
    (3) Find the point on the watch midway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock and draw an imaginary line from that point through and beyond the center of the watch. This imaginary line is a north-south line; you can then tell the other directions.
    NOTE: If your watch is set on daylight savings time, then use the midway point between the hour hand and 1 o’clock to draw your imaginary line.
    B.) Procedures in the southern temperate zone using a conventional watch are as follows:
    (1) Place a small stick in the ground so that it casts a definite shadow.
    (2) Place your watch on the ground so that 2 o'clock points to and along the shadow.
    (3) Find the midway point between the hour and 12 o'clock and draw an imaginary line from the point through and beyond the center of the watch. This is a north-south line.

    A hasty shortcut using a conventional watch is simply to point the hour hand at the sun in the northern temperate zone (or point the 12 at the sun in the southern temperate zone) and then follow the last step of the watch method above to find your directions. This shortcut, of course, is not as accurate as the regular method, but quicker. Your situation will dictate which method to use.

    Remember, you are never really lost, you just don’t happen to be where you think are.

    Folks, please feel free to chime in and add to this.


    Sarcasm light on.;)
    One last method to be discussed for sheeple and other refugees; procure common road map from 7-11 or other Quickie-style mart, secure day bag over one shoulder with a couple bottles of Mtn Dew, some Doritos and Vienna sausages, get in line and follow main roads utilizing the “sheeple shuffle”. Remember, the “sheeple shuffle” will allow the maximum number of refugees to move simultaneously on the roads with minimal congestion and maximum efficiency. Don’t forget your motto: “Where I’m going I don’t know, when I get there I don’t care, all I know is that I am on my way!”*
    Sarcasm light off.;)
    *From the movie “Paint Your Wagon”, with Lee Marvin & Clint Eastwood.

  • #2
    I've got the lensatic compass that I had to buy to go to WLC (frickin supply sucks). And several protractors. I know all that land nav madness, but I don't own one single topographic map. So I'm kinda screwed.
    Last edited by Oscar Wilde; 03-04-2012, 11:55 AM.


    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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      here is a pic of the shadow method
      Survival is not the art of living it's the art of existing


      • #4
        Outstanding but you need to remember that magnetic north moves each year. They (Map makers) normally get it right but they can be off. If you have maps over 2 years old either replace them or contact the maker for correction marking for magnetic north.


        • #5
          when i took this pic magnetic north was 22 degrees off to the west
          Survival is not the art of living it's the art of existing