Find north with your watch 1


This is a straightforward way to find north with your watch.  In the UK it works best when we are on  Greenwich Mean Time (more or less from the end of March to the end of October).  When we are on British Summer Time,  you need to make a slight adjustment and add on an hour.  Oh, and it also only works with a watch that has hands!  If you only have a digital watch, however, draw an analogue watch on a piece of paper and draw on the hands according to the watch.  The rest is the same.

  • Hold your watch horizontally and point the hour hand towards the Sun. (During BST, add on an hour and point that at the sun)
  • Now bisect the angle between the hour hand and the figure 12 on your watch to give you a line showing north-south.

Hopefully this diagram, courtesy of clipart, shows the technique.

find north with your watch

You can find plenty of photos of our courses and people learning these types of skills on our Facebook page.


About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.


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