Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Tue, 1 Aug 1995 18:00:43 GMT
>On Tue, 1 Aug 1995, Susan Ganther wrote:
>> How do you find north with a digital watch?
>> Free council strip for the best answer
>> YiS, Susan
Milt Forsberg wrote:
>At Noon (standard time, not daylight), stand with your back to the sun
>and you are facing North! Watch is used only to determine time in this case.
You are slightly in error, Milt. You need to stand with your back to the
sun at noon, local time, not standard time for the timezone you are in.
Since each time zone spans roughly 15 degrees of longitude, you could be
as much as 7 1/2 degrees off, if you used the technique you espouse. In
the tropics, the sun might be at too high an elevation for you to
determine local noon time by eyeballing it. Thus, your suggested technique
is only valid for those in the northern hemisphere in the temperate zone
(and parts of the Earth north of the Arctic Circle for varying times of
In really high latitudes, it is tough to determine when the sun is at
its zenith, and at the north and south poles, there is no difference
(for all practical purposes), in the elevation of the sun at any time
during a given day.
Having said that, I concede that being about 8 degrees off on your
heading is better than not having a clue as what said heading should be.
In many circumstances, the "shadow stick" method of determining
direction is to be preferred in a survival situation, as one does not
have to wait for local noon in order to determine approximate true north.
Background: I used to be a C-130 overwater navigator during my younger
and wilder days. This, of course, included celestial navigation training
at Interservice Undergraduate Navigator Training (IUNT) school and
land navigation training during the Land Survival and Survival, Evasion,
Resistance and Escape (SERE) schools.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <email@example.com>
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 852, Camarillo, CA
Ventura County Council, Boy Scouts of America
National Woodbadge 416-18, Philmont, 1973
"I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City