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Blade Specialist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am debating on a constant no matter what happens nav system.

I am looking into world compass styles or star navigation.

Can anyone recommend an awesome star navigation book or a compass that will work during most SHTF possibilities?

For instance is their a compass that will always work reguardless of nuclear interference, planetary alignment shift, or whatever might happen? Or is star navigation the absolute most reliable means of gaining your bearings?

Please I need only serious educated answers.
 

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Numquam Succumbe
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A compass, the sun, and the north star have never failed to keep me oriented, but there are a couple SHTF scenarios that involve a completely blocked out sky and even some that would render a compass inoperable. In that scenario I would rely on large geographical terrain features like mountain ranges, backwater basins, valleys, deserts, and rivers to navigate. :thumb:
 

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Blade Specialist
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So theoretically one should master the stars navigation, use a compass, have topo map, and basic common sense navigation skills to be prepped for any SHTF situation?

While that is probably the best option, I am looking for long term ideas such as locating last known locations of things such as family, possible looting locations, greener pastures, and the like.

I want to be able to navigate vast distances should the need arise, like having to go from the west coast to east coast depending on necessity. I know it would never be likely that I would need to navigate such distance on foot, but I am sure a human or two out there thought that too and did find themselves in need. Plane crashes, ship wrecks, early expiditions into the new round earth some of those guys did it without much technology or even maps in some cases. In some cases I understand gut instint is the only option, but what if I need to get to a very specific geographical location, and survival depended on it? How do I get there with a basic survival sized tool? Looking for best for almost all possible endings...
 

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Map and compass.

Learn to do field-to-map and map-to-field declination adjustments.

learn about declination. The longer the distance the more important it is.

Not hard really. the secret is to get out and do it. reading a book on it won't really prepare you. try orienteering. try a day hike where terrain features are easily seen, close by and safe to hike. then shoot a few bearings, transfer to the map. separately then plot a course on the map and walk it using your compass.

learn your basic 7.5 minute topo map. about $7-10.00 each. Buy a "gazetteer" for your state, one of those big state topo atlases you see in walmart. learn about scale. I have a framed 7.5 minute topo in my house for quick reference. The topo covers the area my house in in.

consider geocaching, it's based on using GPS, but it gets you out and will give you an opportunity to be able to try some map and compass stuff. BTW GPS is great until you run out of batteries, the .gov decides to encode the satellites, etc...
 

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Map and compass.

Learn to do field-to-map and map-to-field declination adjustments.

learn about declination. The longer the distance the more important it is.

Not hard really. the secret is to get out and do it. reading a book on it won't really prepare you. try orienteering. try a day hike where terrain features are easily seen, close by and safe to hike. then shoot a few bearings, transfer to the map. separately then plot a course on the map and walk it using your compass.

learn your basic 7.5 minute topo map. about $7-10.00 each. Buy a "gazetteer" for your state, one of those big state topo atlases you see in walmart. learn about scale. I have a framed 7.5 minute topo in my house for quick reference. The topo covers the area my house in in.

consider geocaching, it's based on using GPS, but it gets you out and will give you an opportunity to be able to try some map and compass stuff. BTW GPS is great until you run out of batteries, the .gov decides to encode the satellites, etc...
That would work, at least temporarily. If a magnetic shift happens in our lifetime, recalibrating the declination frequently would be a very smart thing to do. Now a magnetic shift seems unlikely, but I think that's far more likely to happen than a planetary shift that would change our ability navigate and not kill us.

I would keep a gps with a solar charger for the batteries. Even if things went bad down here, the satellites might still be able to run for a good long time. I'd still rely primarily on maps. I don't see why that isn't the #1 choice. If things got so bad that vehicles couldn't be used and one must walk across the country to find the resources to live, it wouldn't be a problem to navigate by the highways. The highways already have signs on it that make navigation easy, even without the maps. You wouldn't even have to be directly on the roadway, just near enough that it can be used to navigate by...although it would be less energy intensive to walk on or next to the roadway than in the mountains. Also, staying on roads makes using a bicycle a possibility. Instead of taking half a year (or years) to walk across the country, it might be done in a couple of weeks.
 

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A map is still your best friend. The mountains and rivers will still be there. The roads and the cities will still be there, albeit worse for wear.

Basic stellar navigation only requires a sextant. You can make a workable sextant with a protractor, a string and a fishing weight. A more accurate method requires a precision sextant, an accurate watch and an almanac. It doesn't work with continual cloud cover or a forest canopy. Even being in a deep narrow canyon makes getting a stellar fix problematic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_navigation

I remember a TV show where three teams were dropped in widely separated, isolated locations and they had to figure out where they were. The team that won built a radio receiver out of scrap to get Greenwich mean time and compared that with local noon to get their longitude. Then improvised a ruler and used the the length of a shadow on a stick relative to its height at noon (taking the date into account) and some trig to calculate their latitude. I think it got them within a hundred miles either way. (The losing teams weren't even sure what continent they were on.)

http://bizarrelabs.com/foxhole.htm (see POW radio)

The Polynesians were pretty good at navigating vast distances across the oceans without any of out modern tech. Of course being on the ocean has the advantage of being able to see the true horizon as well as clues from clouds, currents, waves and birds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynesian_navigation

If your scenario has the planet shifting so much as to make topography unreliable, I think we are all dead anyhow. It won't matter.
 

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Blade Specialist
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good info. I have a state forestry map of the entire NW 1/4 of the Oregon State, vacuum sealed. It is folded in a way however that allows me to see the surrounding 100 miles or so. I use it for hunting. What I have works for here, I know my land. Therefore I can navigate unseen. I am trying to master navigation in excess of that and with your info I will come to an educated decision that works for me.

Thanks again.
 

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If you have Garmin's computer topo maps, you can print out a pretty big map. I just found out a couple days ago that you can print out a map set that's 4x4 pages, which should cover a pretty damn big area. If travelling across the country may be an option, you NEED to plan the route before you go, otherwise you'll die. It's that simple. There are many routes in which travelling long distances is impossible to do while living off of what you find along the way. Once you know your route, draw it in the map program and start printing maps. Actually, it might be a good idea to research spots where you should be able to find food and water and to put those on the maps before you print them.
 

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Travel Light
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A lot of people talk about using topo maps, don't forget the good old road map!! Roads are usually well labeled on those maps, along with their general direction. They also typically include rivers and other bodies of water. It can be difficult to orient yourself using a topo map, and with a dark sky or screwy compass, you could easily find yourself going in circles, whereas with a road map you have a constant landmark to use for direction. not saying it is the be all and end all, just something not to overlook and trying to follow the KISS principle.
 

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A lot of people talk about using topo maps, don't forget the good old road map!!
All my topo maps have roads on them. They're not as road friendly as a regular road map, but they'll get the job done.

If you want road maps, AAA is a great resource since they give free maps to their members. I just got a map of the eastern north and south Sierras, and it's much easier to read than any map or booklet of maps I would have printed from my computer.

The problem is that there's only so many maps you can carry. Even long distance hikers (like myself) only carry maps for a little bit of the walk at a time. The rest of the maps are mailed forward. If I carried the entire set of maps, I'd be carrying about 450 pages worth of maps. Add a couple hundred more for a guidebook. That gets to be bulky and heavy.
 

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Oh noes, the end is near!
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Hi.

Recta or Suunto compass, with Global-System needle (valid for all latitudes of the planet) with declination adjustment system is something that everyone ought to have. Better choose a model with mirror and alidade becauseif you do not know the exact value of magnetic declination on your area, you can set the declinatory value to point to Polaris with the sight, noting the difference in degrees and minutes and then make the appropriate correction to trace accurate paths. And it is also essential to learn to read and use a topographic map

Orientation by the stars is easy in the northern hemisphere, Polaris always points true north, and is easily located in the sky drawing imaginary bisector of the larger angle of Cassiopeia, or extending the outer edge of the Ursa Major. Once located Polaris, looking at it from the front, the cardinal points are placed immediately.

I put an image of Polaris in relation to Ursa Major and Cassiopeia:



Regards


Sky Line Atmosphere Astronomical object Constellation
 

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That would work, at least temporarily. If a magnetic shift happens in our lifetime, recalibrating the declination frequently would be a very smart thing to do. Now a magnetic shift seems unlikely, but I think that's far more likely to happen than a planetary shift that would change our ability navigate and not kill us.

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the magnetic north shifts all the time. declination is recazlibrated every year and new topo maps updated.

talk about the poles changing polarization seems like science fiction to me, not something I can change or really prepare for. not sure what it would change.
 

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aircraft sectional map from your local small airport. has things on it other maps dont have including elevation. towers, rails, creeks ,rds, moa [military operatons area] interstate ecectric lines. gas lines , much more
 
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