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How to orientate without a Compass or GPS

We live in an age of lasers in the jungle and all manner of GPS gadgets to orientate us wherever we may be on planet earth. Even with an i-pod one can determine location through the Internet maps facility. All these high-tech gadgets are all very well, however its unlikely that we will have them handy when we most need it in the jungle, desert or somewhere exposed to the elements far from civilization. Besides there is not likely to be an Internet connection or somewhere to charge batteries handy and who travels with a Compass these days? Such modern gadgets has made us reliant on technology and taken away our capacity to read navigation through good old fashioned environmentally connected methods, which can always be utilized when all else fails or as a back up to confirm the correct reading of a Compass or GPS unit.
So if you are ever stuck without a Compass or GPS unit try the following…


Locate the North Star, Polaris!
The North Star is the last star in the handle known as the “Little Dipper”. Walking toward it means you are walking due north. You can use the Big Dipper to find the North Star. A straight, imaginary line drawn between the two stars at the end of the Big Dipper's bowl will point to the North Star. The distance to the North Star is about five (5) times the distance between the two (2) "pointer" stars.

Find the Southern Cross!
The Southern Cross is a group of four bright stars in the shape of a cross and tilted to one side. Imagine the long axis extends in a line five times its actual length. The point where this line ends is south. If you can view the horizon, draw an imaginary line straight down to create a southern landmark.

Locate moss!
Moss grows in places with lots of shade and water; essentially areas that are cool and moist. On tree trunks, the north sides tend to be more shady and moist than the south side; therefore, moss usually grows on the north side of trees, which can provide one with indicative directional sense. However, this method is nut infallible as in many forests, both sides of a tree can be shack and moist.

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