Finding the North Without a Compass
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The great outdoorsman Dick Person teaches us how to find north using just the things you may find in nature, like sticks or Aspen tree fungus.


[Music Playing] Dick: Laura, I have an interesting question for you. Laura: Okay. Dick: What would you do if you are out here and let us say you were lost, you did not have your compass along, how are you going to find directions? Laura: I do not know. How would I find directions Dick? Dick: Well, there are some very simple technology out here that we can make use of in order to find east, west, north, south and the whole package. Laura: So you are telling me that with out my compass, with out a map, with out any technologies I can just find north, south, east, west with this stuff? Dick: Yes, you can. Laura: I like you to show me how to do that. Dick: I would love to. Laura: Okay. Dick: Hey, look at the stick this gives me an idea. I will put that stick on the ground and I am going to find myself a rock I am going to put it right at the tip of the shadow. Laura: Dick what are you doing? Dick: Well, if you are traveling and you do not have a compass you need to know your directions this is going to give them to you. We are going to come back in a couple of hours, find where that shadow is, we are going to place another rock there and when we have that then we will have an east, west line between the two rocks. Laura: East, west, so that is my east, west direction. Dick: Yes. Laura: So if I have that then I have North and South. Dick: We got the whole package. Laura: Try it now? Dick: Good. Alright stop here for a moment. Laura: Okay. Dick: Here is another one that run natural direction finders. Laura: Really? Dick: I have to use, run my hand down this tree, look at it, full of white fungus which grows on the south side of the tree. And the north side black fungus. Laura: Okay, so this is my south and this is my north then I should be able to figure out east and west. So what kind of tree is this? Dick: This is Aspen. Laura: Found all across North America. Dick: All across from North America right down into the dessert. Laura: Now the white Token, this is also a part we use as sunscreen, which we found in DVD. So this is a great tree to have. Dick: So let us go check the stick on the beach. Laura: Right, okay. Dick: Laura I think you are going to find, this is a pretty interesting thing that has happened. Here was our original line to our lock over here where the shadow went, the other shadow is also shortened and it moved over to here. We want to indicate that with the rock and hello, and east, west line. Laura: So if you give me this stick and I put in the middle then I would have a north, south it gives us a natural compass, right? Dick: Right on. Laura: So over all then Dick, when we are in the land and with out a compass it is basically two different ways to find our direction. First we will be using the white fungus when the tail comes side on an Aspen and the second one more or less primitive tool but still effective using some sticks, couple of rocks and the sun. Dick: Right.