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Make a Compass of Your Watch

Category: Ii Woodcraft

Besides keeping you company with its friendly nearness, its ticking and
its ready answers to your questions regarding the time, a watch in the
woods and fields has another use, for it can be used as a compass. It
will show just where the south is, then by turning your back on the
south you face the north, and on your right is the east and on your left
the west. These are the rules:

With your watch in a horizontal position point the hour-hand to the sun,
and if before noon, half-way between the hour hand and 12 is due south.
If it is afternoon calculate the opposite way. For instance, if at 8 A.
M. you point the hour-hand to the sun, 10 will point to the south, for
that is half-way between 8 and 12. If at 2 P. M. you point the hour-hand
to the sun, look back to 12, and half the distance will be at 1,
therefore 1 points to the south.

An easy way to get the direction of the sun without looking directly at
it is by means of the shadow of a straight, slender stick or grass stem
thrown on the horizontal face of your watch. Hold the stick upright with
the lower end touching the watch at the _point_ of the hour-hand, then
turn the watch until the shadow of the stick falls along the hour-hand.
This will point the hand undeviatingly toward the sun.

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