There are many ways to determine the cardinal points. Using a compass is the easiest one. But sometimes it happens that there is no compass at hand, or it is lost, broken. In this case, the location of the north, south, west and east can be found using other methods.
North, South, West, East: location on the mapNorth on the map is always on top.
To find the cardinal directions, you need to remember that, regardless of scale and purpose, north, south, west and east are always located the same way: the north side is always above, the south from below, the west from the left, and the east from the right. If there is a compass, the task is even more simplified: it is necessary to combine the route laid out in accordance with the map with its arrows and follow it on the ground. Orientation on the map is possible without a compass. To do this, you need to go to some object marked on the map: a railroad track, road, natural reservoir, then compare the picture of the area with the one shown on the map, and already draw your further route along it. Coming to a large object, you need to verify your direction with what is indicated on the map. This way you can check for deviations from the route.
North, South, West, East: compass locationThe side of the arrow with the letter N indicates north
Determining the cardinal points from a compass is a simple task, provided that this device is used correctly. First you need to remember what symbols marked the cardinal points. North is indicated by the English letter N, i.e. "north", south - S ("south"), west - W ("west"), and east - E ("east"). To determine the north, you need to turn the arrow on the main side (usually it is painted blue or simply marked as the main one) in the direction of the designation N.
To correctly determine the cardinal points with a compass, you need to follow the rules:
- The device must be kept strictly horizontally so as not to cause errors in determining the cardinal points.
- The compass must be turned carefully until the arrow with its marked end freezes at the N mark. The arrow line, therefore, indicates the north and south directions.
- Some compass models are equipped with a special arrow, which is fixed in the direction of a given route. It is enough to tighten it up and follow the direction.
- Built-in compass helps calculate azimuths.
In order not to deviate from the route, you must select a landmark as a major structure, and follow it. Having reached the object, again check the compass direction and continue on.
Orientation of the heavenly bodiesNorthern Hemisphere Orienteering
When there is no map or compass with you, heavenly bodies such as the moon, sun, stars will help you navigate the terrain. The North Pole is where the North Star is located, if you face it. Accordingly, the South Pole will be behind. To find the North Star, you don’t need to make special efforts - in the sky, it shines brighter than other stars. It is located at the end of the bucket of the constellation Ursa Minor. Then you need to outline a large landmark to correlate its location with the star indicating parts of the world. Moving relative to this landmark, you can plot the desired route. When you are in the Southern Hemisphere, you should navigate through the constellation Southern Cross. It consists of five stars, four of which create a cross, slightly offset to the side. If you mentally extend the long axis of the cross, formed by two bright stars, to the earth, it will indicate a southerly direction. Based on this landmark, it will not be difficult to determine the rest of the world.
The Sun is also easy to navigate, knowing the fact that it rises in the East, and sets in the West. However, seasonal variations should be taken into account: in winter it rises in the north-east direction, and at sunset it will be located in the north-west. In summer, the sun shifts closer to the south. To determine the cardinal points, you can use the simplest way: get up at noon with your back to the sun so that the shadow from it falls clearly in front of your face. Thus, the north side of the world will be in front, the south side will be behind, the west and east will be left and right, respectively. The same method works with a pole stuck in the ground.
If you need to navigate not in the summer afternoon, you can use the following method: two pegs are inserted into the ground with an interval of 15-20 minutes. On the ground, the place where the shadow from the peg ends is marked. Then a stick is put connecting the two marks with each other. The perpendicular drawn to this line will indicate the northern direction.
At night, you can also determine the location of the cardinal points, while the moon will help. To do this, determine the phases of the moon: in the first quarter the moon grows, the "horns" of the month will point to the left. The second quarter is the full moon, and the third is waning, while the "horns" of the month will be turned to the right, resembling the letter S. The moon, located in the first quarter, will be in the south by seven o'clock in the evening, and in the west by one in the morning . If the moon is full, by seven o'clock in the evening it will be visible in the east, and by one in the morning in the south. The waning crescent moon at one o’clock is in the east, and at seven in the morning - in the south.
Clock OrientationNorth Hemisphere Orienteering
If there is no compass, you can navigate using another device - a mechanical watch. To do this, on a sunny day, holding the clock horizontally, send a large hand to the sun. The angle between this position of the hand and the 12 o'clock position should be halved, the bisector of this angle will be the direction of the North-South line. This definition of north and south refers to a location in the northern hemisphere where the sun is exactly in the south at noon. If the clock is set to daylight saving time, you should focus not on the 1 o'clock position, but 1 hour, and divide the angle between it and the position of the sun.
Definition of cardinal points by natural phenomenaMost branches tend to grow on the warm, south side
Using natural landmarks located in a forest or other locality, you can easily determine belonging to different parts of the world. In the forest you can navigate the anthills. Their gentle side is always facing south, and the anthills themselves are located on the south side of the trees. If you pay attention to the location of moss on top of tree trunks, stumps, you can see that moss grows mainly on the north side. The slopes of the mountains on the south side are covered with thermophilic trees and plants, for example, oaks, pines. The northern slopes are characterized by fir and spruce growing there.
You can observe fir trees: when the weather is hot, tar begins to stand out from the south side of the trunks. Most often, mushrooms grow on the north side near trees.
It is interesting to observe the sunflowers: when the flowers bloom, they turn eastward. In the morning, the soil of large stones is more moistened on the north side than on the south. You can find a stump and observe the location of the annual rings: most often they are shifted towards the north.
Guided by natural signs and phenomena, it must be remembered that these sources are not 100% accurate, but if you put them together, you can create a clear picture for orientation in parts of the world.