How to Get Direction from Nature

how to get direction from nature

It is possible that we lost ourselves in the middle of the forest on an excursion and got lost. Or just be curious to know where the south is. In any case, there are many ways to get direction from nature. No need for GPS or latest generation mobiles (much like a watch), learn how nature makes you a guide.

8 Ways to Get Direction from the Natures


Understanding exactly which direction the sun will follow throughout the day takes a bit of training and practice, but everyone in Europe and the US should know that the sun is south at its highest point at noon. That’s why you find more puddles on the shaded south side on most east / west steer roads than on the north side where the sun hits more at noon.

get diection from sun

Observing the Pole Stars

As the earth rotates on its north – south axis, people in the Northern Hemisphere think that all stars rotate out of the East and set in the West (including the Sun), but the further north they are, they A circle that does not stand on the horizon. In the case of the Polar star, which is exactly in the line of the axis of rotation of the Earth, it turns apparently on itself , so it still appears in the sky. You have to know how to recognize it (it’s very bright and does not blink), because just below it is the North.

orientation by polar star

Observing the Moss in the Trees

As in the Northern Hemisphere the apparent trajectory of the Sun is inclined towards the South, a zone of umbra is produced in the north side of the trees and this indicates the North to us. Also changing vegetation and snow staying longer on the north side of the mountains. These are clues that can help us. The mosses are mostly lodged in the area facing south as there is more shade and the dampness which comes mostly from the South (Southern Hemisphere). If they are in humid climates the whole tree is full but has greater concentration on one side.

Through the Stumps of Cut Trees

direction from cut trees

If we look at cut trees and notice, the rings are not symmetrical, the chances are trees grow more by the South side. In Alternatively, if we will see that the distances between the rings of the cut are greater in the South side of the tree (northern hemisphere) whereas in the Southern hemisphere it happens the opposite: they grow mainly towards the North since the Sun is flanked towards the North and the Plants “seek” the sun.

By Determining the Meridian with the Use of a Clock

In order to know the meridian (north-south line) an analog clock is horizontally arranged and the hour hand is matched with the direction of the sun at that time: the south direction (if we are in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere ) Will remain in the bisector of the angle that the hourly needle forms with 12 or, if you point at 12, towards the Sun and the bisector between the hours and twelve gives the North (temperate South hemisphere). Obviously, if we have a digital watch, we can also orient ourselves with it.


The wind leaves good marks about the direction. From the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where you can read the ripples of the swell, to the tops of trees bent by the prevailing winds, the wind is there to help the navigators. Make sure you follow the direction the wind has been blowing and find compasses next to you. After the winter snow, look for white fringes consisting of trees where the wind has punished only one side, will be more consistent in wider areas. It also looks for the accumulation of snow on each side of the obstacles that stop the wind. There will be a steady buildup on the windward side and longer, smoother trails in the wind. This technique also works with sand.


Each cloud can be used to orientate itself with practice. But one of the fastest techniques to go training is to look for trends in the clouds. When atmospheric conditions are good, airplanes that fly high leave a trail of condensed water vapor. There will be well-marked trends in these lines as the patterns depend on where the aircraft flies. Once you know the trend in your area, these clouds act as giant compasses in the sky. In northwest Europe they tend to create lines from the northwest to the southeast.
get direction from clouds

The cities

Satellite dishes are of the great helps in cities as they have well-marked trends. Studying the habits of this animal, the human being, everywhere we can orientate ourselves easily. If you are totally lost in a big city, walk against the flow of people in the morning or follow the flow of people in the afternoon and you will arrive at a station.

Final Thought

Although these forms of guidance are very reliable, in case you want an exact location it is useful to use professional methods (from compass to digital devices) to be completely accurate.