Saturday, 12 August 2017

CADET ACTVITY: Two ways to find North without a compass.

Method 1

This is a fun method to try out in your garden. All you need is a stick, two stones or other small objects and the sun!
  1. Find a sunny spot on an area of flat ground.
  2. Take the stick and push it into the ground so that a shadow is cast from it.
  3. Use a rock or other sharp object and mark the tip of that shadow on the ground.
  4. Since the sun's shadows move from west to east during the day, this first point stands for west.
  5. Wait for about 15 minutes or so and then mark where the stick's shadow has moved to with another rock.
  6. Now you should have two spots in the dirt: The first spot represents the west and the second spot represents the east.
  7. Draw a line between those two spots. You know have east-west line. From there, you can draw your north-south line at a 90-degree angle to the east-west line.
To help you remember that west is left on the compass and east is right, they spell the word WE. From there you can find where north is (above WE) and south (below WE). The stones that you mark are in the same order too: west then east. Try it and see how well it works. You can check it with a compass if you have one.

Method 2

First, you need an analogue watch (that's one with hands on it) set to the correct time. If it has been adjusted for daylight savings set it back an hour.

In the Northern Hemisphere

(the United Kingdom is in the Northern Hemisphere being north of the equator).
  • Point the hour hand (the little one) at the sun.
  • Imagine there is a line down the middle of the angle between the hour hand and the 12 o'clock mark.
  • The line down the middle of the angle is pointing south; so the opposite direction is north.

In the Southern Hemisphere:

  • Point the 12 o'clock mark at the sun.
  • Imagine there is a line down the middle of the angle between the 12 o'clock mark and the hour hand.
  • The line down the middle of the angle is pointing north.

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