7 Steps To Finding Your Way Out Of The Wilderness Without A Compass Or Map

Getting lost in the wilderness is no laughing matter. In fact it can be deadly. If you’ve ever been lost you know how frustrating it can be. Trying to find your way without a compass, or map (or cell phone) is rather easy if you follow the directions in the video below.

Stay with this video.  Although it seems a little corny at first  there is some really good information here. We’ve also provided written directions below the video.

How To Find You Way If You Are Lost Without A Compass, Or Map

Step 1: Use the shadow stick method

During the day, try the shadow stick method. Find a stick about three feet tall and put it in a flat piece of ground with no greenery nearby. Mark the end of its shadow with a rock. Wait 30 minutes, and mark the tip of the new shadow. The connecting line runs from west to east, with the first mark indicating west.

Step 2: Observe any snow

If there is lingering snow on the ground, gauge where it’s located. In the Northern Hemisphere, there will be more snow on north-facing slopes, which generally get less sun.

Step 3: Inspect tree bark

Inspect older trees. In the Northern Hemisphere, the side of the tree with the thinner bark is usually facing southeast. Also, there tends to be more foliage on that side.


Contrary to conventional wisdom, moss can grow on sides other than north, so this is not an accurate predictor of direction.

Step 4: Wait until the sun begins setting

Wait until the sun begins setting. Whichever direction it’s going down is west.

Step 5: Look at the moon

If the moon is in a crescent phase, imagine a line running from its top tip to its bottom tip and continuing all the way down to the horizon. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, the point where the imaginary line touches the ground is south.

Step 6: Find the North Star

If the moon is not in a crescent phase, find the North star by locating the Big Dipper and following the front edge of its cup from bottom to top, extending that line up about five times its length until you see a star.

Step 7: Walk in a straight line

Once you know where you’re going, walk in a straight line. To avoid accidentally veering off course, find landmarks to walk toward, and go around obstacles on alternating sides every time you come to one.


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