How to orientate yourself in the nature

The ability to orientate yourself with using merely the signs of nature can be the boundary between life and death.  Nature is extremely tricky and easy to get lost in, especially under certain weather conditions like are fog, rain, darkness … Do not think that it only happens to beginners, the fact is that even the experienced hitchhikers can easily get lost, but it’s not a big deal if you know how to orient. Therefore, we present you some of the advices about orientation.

Improvise compass with the help of wrist watch

Place your wrist watch at the palm of your hand, hold it horizontally and rotate so that a small pointer points the sun. It is easier to turn the clock if you watch the sun on glass on the watch, simply rotate it until the sun reflection overlaps the small pointer.  Then divide the angle between the small pointer and the number 12 on the clock and you can get the direction of south. If we stay facing south, right there in the west, and to the left – east.

Orientation during the night

Side of the world at the clock and full moon can be determined as well as using the clock and the sun. Only here instead of south, first find north. Polaris is the brightest star in this part of the sky and is sometimes seen even during the daytime, and indicates the direction of the north.

During the clear night, the direction of the north can be determined with sufficient accuracy by Polar Star. It is located in the constellation of the Little Bear (Ursa Minor) and the easiest to find tracking the Great Bear (Ursa Major).

The Big Dipper is perhaps the best known group of stars in the northern sky and is easy to distinguish from all others. The Big Dipper is located just north of the celestial pole. Knowing how to find the Big Dipper makes it easy to find the North Star.

Tree barks

If it is cloudy or if you do not have a clock can help us “live compass”. Side of the world in the forest can be determined by a dark line that runs from the country almost to the top of the tree. It is well visible in the background of lighter bark. The dark stripe is always on the north side and formed from residual moisture. The wet bark dries the slowest on the north side, where there is at least the sun.


Besides bark of trees on the north side, try finding the moss. Fungi that live in trees grow better on the north side because there, as we have said, there is more moisture. Similarly, the walls and roofs of buildings are on the north side colder and darker, and from that side are covered with mushrooms and moss.

Observe the nature

  • On the south side of the conifers you can find much more resin tracks than on the north facing side. On the stump of the felled tree rings are narrower to the north and extending to the south. The ants make nests usually on the south side of the stump, tree or bush. South side of the anthill is a mild slope of the north. But be careful, not to be judged only by one nest.
  • In late winter and early spring, it is possible to orientate by the snow. The northern edge of the forest holds the snow one to two weeks more than the southern end. Around lone trees, stumps and pillars create the parts without snow, which stretched to the south. On the northern slopes of the snow remains longer than the southern.
  • Spring grass is higher, thicker and greener on the south side of large stones, trees, forests. Conversely, when the long drought: then the grass more green on the north side.
  • If you run into a stream, go downstream. Stream water flows towards the river, and there you will sooner or later come across people.
  • You can use the help of the bees for better orientation. You just have to pay closer attention to their flight: bees with nectar and pollen are trying to return the shortest route to the hive.

All tags