Following my Tips and Hacks #49 and my invitation for suggestions, David (a great mate of mine) suggested we look at finding north using a watch.
Many of you many know this one. And if you do, have you shared it with others or any kids you know?
Well… here in the Southern Hemisphere below the Tropic of Capricorn, we can find north (or as near as we may need to) by:
Point the 12 o’clock of the watch to the sun;
Now, look where the hour hand is – the small one;
If you take the mid-point between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock – that’s where you’ll find north (to near to).
Example: If it’s 8:00 in the morning and your watch (12 o’clock) is pointing at the sun – North will be in the direction of the 10:00 o’clock position on your watch.
I know… I know… there’s some out there that are saying “I don’t wear a watch”, “I don’t have an analog watch” or “I carry my mobile phone for the time” etc. But, isn’t it good to carry the old tricks in your head?
The solution is simple. Imagine the face of the watch or clock and divide the face mentally – heck, you could even do it with your eyes closed.
If you travel to the Northern Hemisphere and north of the Tropic of Cancer, you need to change this up a bit. There, you’d point the hour hand at the sun and divide the angle between it and the 12 o’clock position.
I’ll let you ponder that one for yourself – for a while.
I’ll also give you some thinking time about why this only works south or north of the Tropics.
Please drop me a line if you think you know why.
Keep safe and keep your eyes on the sun.
Who invented the compass?
The compass has been a navigational aid for some time and it has been suggested that it was the Chinese who came up with this rather useful tool as early as the 11th or 12th century. Research indicates it was originally used for telling fortunes and geomancy (Geomancy).
If you don’t own a watch then you can always revert to the good old compass. This Suunto Compass is available at Amazon.
More Navigation Tips
If you want to read more about navigation, then head to our blog The Travel Compass