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How do you tell which direction is North East South or West

6 Answers
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B

Telling the magnetic directions is of course most straight forward to do by the use of a compass which probes the magnetic field lines from the earth and also shows the directions as per the magnetic definition.

In the absence of a compass, people use very varying methods to tell the direction. Some apparently have an inherent capability to sense the direction, proposed to be somewhat similar to how migrating birds operate, while others use more formal methods. These methods can be:

1. The use of the sun. The sun rises in the east, travels over sky, pointing south in the noon and afternoon and sets in west. By knowing roughly the time of sunrise and sunset and the time of the day, it is therefore easy to make an educated guess of the direction the sun is at.

2. The use of the stars. During nights where clouds do not block the sky, the north star is commonly used to tell the direction.

3. The use of visual clues. Vegetation prefer the direction where they experience the most sunlight. Therefore, if you observe solitary trees in particular, they will have more dense leaves and branches toward the south than in any other direction. This is in particularly useful when the sun is not visible due to clouds.

4. Landmarks and maps. If you have a map of an area, then by cross referencing the objects you see with the map, you should be able to first of all figure out your location, but also figuring out the direction.

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S

One of the easiest ways of telling which way North, East, South and West is, is to see where the sun rises and sets. The sun always rises in the East and sets in the West. If you can determine one of these then you can work out the rest. If you are facing East and turn 1/4 clockwise you will then be facing South, if you turn another 1/4 clockwise you will then be facing West, and if you turn another 1/4 clockwise you will then be facing North.

Alternatively you can determine the direction you are standing using a compass. A compass now comes standard on many mobile devices or can be downloaded as an app on any mobile or tablet device.

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S

If your working without a map or any other navigational aids, the best way to tell direction is by where the sun is. We know that it rises in the East and sets in the west. It you have the ability to know what time of day it is, you can have a pretty good idea which direction you're traveling. At night, the only real way to navigate is by having knowledge of star positions. The are other ways to navigate without equipment but you really have to know your stuff.

It's certainly easier to know which your going, when you have a map, a compass, a GPS system or other navigational aide.

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S

If your working without a map or any other navigational aids, the best way to tell direction is by where the sun is. We know that it rises in the East and sets in the west. It you have the ability to know what time of day it is, you can have a pretty good idea which direction you're traveling. At night, the only real way to navigate is by having knowledge of star positions. The are other ways to navigate without equipment but you really have to know your stuff.

It's certainly easier to know which your going, when you have a map, a compas, a GPS system or other navigational aide.

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J

On a sunny day, I point the hour hand on my watch towards the Sun. South is roughly half way between the hour hand and 12:00. Facing south, east is to the left, west to the right and north behind me. On a clear night, I look for the Big Dipper and use it to find the North Star. On overcast days and nights it's a little more difficult. In the winter time, on cloudy days, I can get a good indication of north by looking at trees that are out in the open. The tree will usually have less smaller branches on the northern side.

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A

This is how I determine direction. If you face east (where the sun rises) then your left arm points north, your right arm points south and your back is west. This is my simple way.

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