Category Archives: Survival

A Plan Of Mathematical Perfection. (Learning from the Polynesians)

In the two previous posts of this series, we focussed on astro navigation aspects of the ancient voyaging techniques of the Polynesians and the Micronesians.  Because of that narrow focus, we did not do justice to the abounding knowledge and … Continue reading

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Pillars of the Sky (Learning from the Polynesians).

The last post in this series discussed the Polynesian’s Star Compass and their use of ‘steering stars’ for direction finding.  Although the Polynesians made extensive use of a form of dead reckoning to estimate position, as far as we know, … Continue reading

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Survival – Finding Direction From The Moon.

Just as the Sun can help us to find our general bearings during the day, so can the Moon at night. Moonrise and Moonset.  As in the case of the Sun, the Moon will rise between north east and south … Continue reading

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Survival – The Daytime Star

Just as the stars can be your compass at night, there is another star to guide you during the day and that of course is the Sun. Sunrise/Sunset.   We are taught that the Sun rises in the East and sets … Continue reading

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Survival – The Star Compass

“Know The Stars And You Will Always Have A Compass”. In a survival situation, whether at sea or on land, the chances are you may have nothing to navigate by other than the stars in the sky. Finding the Direction … Continue reading

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How To Locate The Pole Star (Polaris)

First step – Look in the northern sky to find the constellation Ursa Major which is otherwise known as the Great Bear. Second step – find the Big Dipper (marked in red) which consists of the seven brightest stars of the constellation … Continue reading

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The Southern Cross

Just as we can use the Pole Star in the northern hemisphere to find the direction of north, we can use the Southern Cross in the southern hemisphere to find the direction of south.   However, whereas we can use the … Continue reading

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Calculating the Sun’s Declination in a Survival Situation

In an ideal situation, we could find our latitude by using a satellite navigation system.  If sat-nav is not available, we can use astro navigation to calculate our latitude by the method shown at the following links: Latitude from the … Continue reading

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Astro Navigation In A Survival Situation

In a recent survey, the majority of people questioned were surprised to learn that astro navigation can be used in a survival situation.  In the same survey, 60% said that they would use satellite navigation systems to find their way … Continue reading

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Finding Latititude In A Survival Situation.

The  full method of calculating your latitude from the altitude of the Sun can be found at this link.  However, in a survival situation, the following simplified method can be used. Equipment Needed.  A clinometer or other device for measuring angles. … Continue reading

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