In an emergency situation, excessive dependence on the GPS-orientation system can play a fatal role. Electronic gadgets are lost or out of order. Under a triple canopy or in inclement weather, they are sometimes unable to establish contact with satellites in order to orient themselves on the ground. And finally, where there are no street names, even the ability to accurately determine your location will not help you if you do not have topographic landmarks.
Orientation by location of natural objects, by the Sun and stars.
To be ready for such a development of events, an IMEC, an extra battery and a card are a backup option. Before you find yourself in an uninhabited area, study it on a map. You need to find out what is within a radius of 20-30 km from the place where you are heading. If you get lost, you can navigate the location of such natural objects as lakes, villages, mountains, the seashore.
Deliberately or accidentally, but nature gives attentive people a lot of clues about their whereabouts. Since most winds blow from the west, trees and shrubs tend to have more foliage on the east side. And there are more branches on the south side, since it is she who receives the maximum sunlight due to the inclination of our planet.
Moss, which grows better in the shade, is more common on the north side of trees. This last clue needs to be used more carefully than others. A separate tree may be obscured by neighboring ones. As with any other hints, be sure to see the big picture and don’t make hasty conclusions.
Orientation by the Sun.
If satellite tracking, which became an integral part of modern life, appeared only half a century ago, then people have been using celestial objects as navigation tools for thousands of years. If you have studied the map and generally understood the terrain, you can find a way to a safe place with the help of the star closest to us – the Sun. Just watch it move.
The easiest way to track the movement of the sun is to determine in which direction you are casting a shadow. As the sun rises in the east, in the morning it casts a shadow to the west. In the afternoon, when the sun begins to move west, your shadow will point east. It is difficult to use this technique at noon, as the sun, which is high above the head, gives almost no shadow.
But if you have an analog clock, then you have everything you need to determine the main directions (north, south, east and west). Raise your hand with the watch as if you want to determine the time, then turn it so that the hour hand “looks” at the sun. The direction to the south corresponds to the point on the clock, which is located in the middle between the clockwise and the mark indicating 12 hours.
If you cannot determine the time of day, make an impromptu solar watch and use the movement of your shadow to orient yourself. To do this, stick a stick in the ground and in the place where the shadow from it ends, put a stone. Wait 15 minutes and do the same with the new shadow position. Draw one line between the two stones and the other perpendicular to it. The end of the perpendicular line farthest from the stick shows north.
Guided by the ancient knowledge of celestial navigation – star orienteering, which has helped countless sailors, pirates and explorers to reach distant shores and treasures, any traveler can even navigate the terrain and determine the cardinal directions in pitch darkness. This is good news for those who cross the desert or escape from disaster when they have to move around after sunset..
The visible position of the stars in the night sky and the choice of those that you can navigate by depends on your geographical coordinates, season, cloud cover and night time. In the Northern Hemisphere a very convenient guideline is the North Star, from which you can determine the direction to the north. Since it is near the North Pole, its position in the sky is almost unchanged.
Due to the rotation of the Earth, other stars seem to move across the sky, but Polaris remains in one place, as if pinned to the upper pole of the globe. The North Star is not the brightest in the sky, and in order to find it, you must first find the constellations closest to it: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Cassiopeia. It is located in a straight line with two outer stars of the Ursa Major bowl..
If we take the distance between these two stars as a unit, the North Star is located in five such units from the last of them, and also approximately in the middle between the Ursa Major and the middle star of the constellation Cassiopeia, which has the shape of the letter W. The North Star is also the last star in the handle of Malaya Dipper.
Orienteering in the Southern Hemisphere.
There is no such landmark at the South Pole, but in the Southern Hemisphere, the direction can be determined by the position of the Southern Cross constellation. Draw an imaginary line from the brightest star of this constellation to the opposite star (this is the longest of the two axes of the cross). If we consider the length of this axis as a unit of distance, the South Pole is, when viewed in the direction of the brightest star, at a distance of four and a half such units.
At the equator, find the Orion Belt. The three horizontal stars that make up this belt lie on the east-west line. Orion’s “Torso” points to the north, and “legs” to the south.
Based on the book Survival in the Wild and Extreme Situations. 100 key skills in the special services methodology.