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Tracking Using the Moon and the Sun

Aug 17, 2007
When a person is tracking or trailing the animals, there is a chance that he will get lost in the woods or forest. But he can use the sun and the moon to get back on his way to the tent. In this article we will learn how to use the moon and the sun as the guide.

The Moon
The waxing moon opens to the left, the waning moon to the right. If you know when the moon, in its various phases, rises and sets, you can use it as a watch or compass. Your newspaper or a local observatory can give you this information. The moon in its first quarter rises in the south at dusk and sets in the west at about midnight.

For the last quarter, it rises in the east at about midnight and sets in the south at dawn.
When the moon is full, hold your watch so that the hour hand points at the moon. South will be at the halfway point between the hour hand and the figure 12. The waxing or waning moon will serve you as a compass if you first determine

(1) Whether the moon is waxing or waning,
(2) About how many twelfths of the face of the moon are visible,
(3) How late it is.

With a waning moon, subtract as many hours from the actual time as there are invisible twelfths of the moon. With a waxing moon, add as many hours as there are invisible twelfths.

Take the new time arrived at in this manner, and line up the figure on your watch for this hour with the center of the watch and the moon. Then, the halfway mark between 12 and this number on your watch points south.

Find north by reading clockwise from the hour hand before midnight, counterclockwise after midnight.

Example, At 8 o'clock in the evening, with a waxing moon (M). About half the face is visible (i.e, about 6/12). Therefore: eight plus six hours equals 2 o'clock. Align the figure 2, the middle of the watch, and the moon. The north-south line lies halfway between the 12 and the 2.

The Sun
At noon, the sun is always in the south. In winter, it rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest. In the summer, it rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest. In the spring and fall, it rises in the east and sets in the west. When the sun is visible and you have your watch with you, you can determine where the south lies. Point the hour hand toward the sun. The halfway point between the figure 12 and the hour hand will be pointing directly south. If you do not have a watch along, but can hear the hour striking somewhere, draw a clock face on a piece of paper and proceed as if it were a watch.

With this guidance of how to read the track of the moon and the sun, we will not be afraid if we get lost in the woods and we dont have compass with us.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.best-scopes-n-binoculars.com/ , http://www.mycampingtips.info/ , http://www.goodbudgetholiday.info/
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