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Navigating in the Wild

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posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 10:53 AM
The first and most basic rule of navigation is to know exactly
where you are as often as you can. Now, you can’t stop every
two minutes to look at the map — certainly not all day — but
that’s not necessary to maintain good navigational awareness.

Normally I throw in a few thoughts and tips of my own like how to determine which way is north with your wristwatch... but for this thread I'm going to keep my thoughts to myself and ask you for tips tricks... Being an old guy I was taught the old method of compass and topo map for orienteering... I'm not really up on newer tech like real time GPS and whatever else might be out there these days... so I ask...enlighten me...and maybe in the process some of the newbies will learn something too.

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

I was in the Boy Scouts as a child, and I learned a lot of survival tips and tricks there. I had a very "non-traditional" scout leader who liked to tell the kids "how it is", rather than "how it should be". Along those lines, he always told us (keep in mind we were a bunch of 10-15 year old kids) that to really be good at survival is not to be able to create a fire with flint and steel, but rather, to be wise enough to always carry a lighter on you at all times.

I am not a smoker, but that tip sticks with me to this day. I always carry a cheap bic lighter with me, if you need to survive, you need fire (to boil water for decontamination, cooking food, keeping warm, staying safe from predators, the list goes on and on).

Every couple of years I buy a pack of 20 bic lighters and keep them readily accessible, and keep one with my wallet and car keys so whenever I go somewhere, I have one on me. Cheap insurance!

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 12:46 PM
TY DB for the thread s+f

I have had many thoughts, on this myself, and like DB's approach.
I am interested in hearing, about others way of "telling" directions.

I have used the sun/timepiece thing for a long time, and found myself 5 miles into the woods "dense woods" and looking for shelter from a pop-up storm, followed by cloud cover. Needless to say I got turned around..Lost!

I have started using multiple references now....including wind direction, and particular landmarks..."if no landmarks I use special or odd tree"
and another tree for a line of sight.."known direction"

Hope someone has a new trick for me...uh well DB I mean

[edit on 16-11-2009 by Doc Holiday]

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 12:49 PM
reply to post by Doc Holiday

I'm a big fan of the old build-your-own compass approach, when you find yourself without a compass and lost. Granted some of the items aren't exactly "have in your pocket" kind of things, but if you make a survival kit, these should be in them!

1. Sewing needle ~1 inch (3cm?) long.
2. Small bar magnet. Refrigerator magnets may work if you don't have a bar magnet.
3. A small piece of cork.
4. A small glass or cup of water to float the cork and needle.


posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by Ghostt

Yes I'm familiar with that.....I was hoping for other tricks that require no tools such as the sun/wristwatch thing....
But hey thats good info. its what DB's after, I just chimed in for support, his threads always have good content IMHO..

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by Doc Holiday

Agreed, while a compass (in any form) is handy, it is very easy to envision a situation where you're lost, and do not have the ability to fashion a compass of any kind. Alternative survival tips are surely useful.

Here's some other ideas I've heard over the years:

- "Trick" birthday candles (the ones that re-light when blown out), great for fire starting multiple fires.

- Dryer Lint in a small pillbottle -- excellent fire starter/kindling

- When looking for fresh water, follow the mosquitoes/flies, they know where its at!

- Dandelions -- they are everywhere in the U.S., and they are a tremendous source of nutrition.

- Compass-less Direction finding: If lost in a wooded area, look for a stump from a logged tree. Observe the growth rings. The southerly direction can be determined by the width of the rings. The rings will be wider on the part of the stum that faces south.

- If you are out in cold/winter weather, PACE YOURSELF, and try to avoid perspiration as much as possible, perspiration means you're losing water, and cooling your skin, both which are very bad in such a situation.

- Also in cold -- firebed! Dig a fire pit about 3 feet wide and the length of your body, and make it about 8 inches deep. Make a nice sized fire, and let it burn down to coals. Spread the coals evenly around the area you dug up, then put a good 2" or more layer of dirt over top of the coals. You can safely sleep on top of that, and it will easily retain its heat for 6-8 hours even in freezing temperatures.

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 01:14 PM
Okay were getting a bit off track here so I will throw one tip out as a what I'm after kind of thing...

You all know sunflowers always face the sun... so do a lot of other flowers... did you know they still do it on days when its to overcast to see the sun...Using that as a guide you know where east is in the morning and west at dusk. Even here in the desert southwest (not known for a lot of sunflowers) in the morning I can always find a lizard sitting on the south side of its sunning rock....

Those are the kind of tips I was hoping to read... along with the newer high tech types

[edit on 16-11-2009 by DaddyBare]

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 10:55 PM
I navigate best on a cloudless night. I can always find the north star. Navigating by the sun is a bit harder because you need to know roughly what time it is. Is it 11 am or 1 pm?

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 11:10 AM
I have found that evan on a cloudy day, there are shadows.

You need to be still let your eyes adjust...protect them...from high light sources, such as white, clouds, and distance focusing.

After your in tune with seeing shadows put a stick in the ground, and a rock on the tip of the do something to pass a little time at least 30 mins...then put one more rock on the shadow tip the line created between them is now an east/west line...

This will work for anyone that is not on the equator, as everyone knows you will have a shadow, evan at noon.

TY for the sunflower referal...thats mmmm mmmm good!

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 09:09 AM
Thank you for your thread. I no that you are looking for the new techniques but I would rather rely on the older ways since in time of natural disaster or even a man made one. There is a great chance with the current debris field in space that our satellites will cease to function. Making only the old ways of directionality useful. GPS will go off line and those like myself who are not familiar with the older ways will find it very tough to get by.

oh as far as GPS most phones today have that ability and is very easy to use an understand. but again I would not rely on that in a true case of survival. batteries die satelites might fail they are to unprodictable in my mind.

[edit on 18-11-2009 by drmeola]

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by drmeola

Good point Sometimes I forget the basics and skip right to the other...

Rather than start posting a repeat of Basic Orienteering let me share this link on basic map and compass use How to use a Compass and Topo Map

REI sells some really good ones... as a tip I would suggest staying away from the ones with the built in tritium night light... why is it adds hundreds of dollars to the cost of a good compass and and trying to navigate in the dark is foolish in unknown territory... Now I use a Silva type 4 compass myself A quick search showed they no longer make that model but they can still be found for sale new on a good many web sites

PS: Never forget to set your Declination for where you are the NDGC has an easy tool to look yours up NDGC Java app

[edit on 18-11-2009 by DaddyBare]

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