How to find North using a watch and the sun (Northern Hemisphere)

“Hour hand to Sun, Half 12 and Done”


How to find North using a watch and the sun (Northern Hemisphere) is a short but simple blog for anyone who wishes to experiment with finding cardinal directions while outdoors but doesn’t have a compass.

This blog intended for people in the Northern Hemisphere.

For finding direction in the Southern Hemisphere, > click here <

“I am not a survival expert and information in this blog should not be used in an un-safe, un-controlled or dangerous environment”.

How to find North with your watch and the sun in the Northern Hemisphere

Step 1: Orient your watch (“Hour hand to Sun”)

Point the Hour-Hand on your watch directly at the sun. As shown in the diagram below.

Step 2: Form a line. (“Half 12 and Done”)

Now imagine a line which bisects the Hour-Hand and Twelve o’clock. This line runs North – South.  As seen in the diagram below. The imaginary line which bisects the Hour-Hand and the Twelve o’clock mark is South.

Note: You may find it easier to take your watch off and lay it on your hand for Step 1, when pointing the hour hand at the sun.

Note: You may use a small thin twig held over the watch face to dissect the Hour-Hand and Twelve o’clock in step two if you are struggling to imagine a line.

Remember “Hour-Hand to Sun, Half 12 and Done” expression may be what prompts you to remember this navigation method. Remember the South Line bisects the Hour-Hand and 12 o’clock. If you find South, you have found North; which is 180 degrees from your South bearing.

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