Space Shuttle Door Gunner
Dumb question. How does one navigate without a compass? I have heard some people can navigate using the sun, but what if it is a situation like in a snowstorm or rainstorm and the sun isn't showing?
Plants can show you cardinal points.
Large bark trees such as Maple, the bark will be tighter on the north side of the tree and wider on the south. Also tree limbs tend to extend in a more horizontal position on the south side of a tree and more vertical on the north. Some flowers will also indicate a cardinal point such as sunflowers as they always point east.
This only applies to the northern hemisphere. Our Aussie brothers will need to reverse this guidance.Also, the north side of trees tends to be mossy
When you are on land and can't see natural horizon, buy special instrument which will show you so called artificial horizon. It 'imitates' the natural one and works OK.I don't think a sextant would work in most cases as it relies on the horizon
If it's a situation like a snowstorm or rainstorm, you sit tight and wait it out.Dumb question. How does one navigate without a compass? I have heard some people can navigate using the sun, but what if it is a situation like in a snowstorm or rainstorm and the sun isn't showing?
...............................Well, good to see that despite the fact that you're extremely presumptuous, you do know a few things.
Glad you noticed. Unlike some on the interwebs, I don't talk about things I don't know about. Unless I have personal experience on a topic, I'm reluctant to even offer an opinion. Unfortunately, most opinions are based 3rd party info, wishful thinking or based on knowledge gleaned from a movie.
I'm actually referring to determining direction based on the position of the sun in the sky and the current time. I learned it as a kid and have used it many times:
*Edit (more concise reference): http://www.wikihow.com/Use-an-Analog-Watch-as-a-Compass
I'm familiar with the technique. Tried it once or twice when in the scouts. I'd rather carry a compass and a map and leave the parlor tricks for when you have no proper equipment. Primitive survival is what you do when plans fail, not what you do for an enjoyable weekend. just my $.02
I don't think a sextant would work in most cases as it relies on the horizon - this is primarily for navigation on the sea. Although it would be more than adequate if it did work --- but then you'd have to be carrying a sextant. If you forget your compass but have a sextant, you have other problems.
Moss growing on trees is a trick I've verified on many occasions. It's not an old wives tale. As the sun traverses the sky, it spends a great deal less time (in our hemisphere) hitting trees on their north side. This means they are generally cooler and wetter on this side - more moss grows. Obviously there are conditions which can affect this, but if you know what I've written in this paragraph and are a little observant, it can be quite helpful.
I've looked and looked and pretty much found moss growing at the entire base of most trees I've checked. Even going by where the thickest moss was located was very inconsistent with this theory, hence my opinion that the theory was invalid. Be aware most of my experience is in Arizona. Further North, the theory may be sound.