How To Make A Shadow Stick For Navigating Using The Sun

The Shadow Stick is a reliable and easy way of navigating using the sun.  It uses a simple stick or walking pole, and can accurately show us the main points of the compass.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and because of this, we know that the shadow cast by the sun reaches west up until high noon and then up until the time the sun sets, the shadow reaches east.compass

Armed with this knowledge we can use a simple stick to accurately show us the main points of the compass.  As the moon also rises in the east and sets in the west, the same method can be used during a full moon to aid navigation at night.

All you need for this method to be employed is a straight stick, approximately 2-3 feet in length, which is placed into the floor in a clear, unobstructed area.

At the tip of the shadow cast by the stick, place an object or make a mark on the ground. Wait 15 minutes and then place another object at the tip of the shadow, which will have moved. How to make a shadow stickDraw a straight line linking the two marks made by the shadow and a further 30 cm beyond, the first mark made is west (a), with the second mark being east (b).

Alternatively, place your left foot on the first mark you made and your right foot on the second mark. You are now facing north, your left shoulder is pointing east, your right shoulder pointing west and south is behind you.

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