How To Find North Using Shadows

As long as you have the right tools and a sunny day, you'll never be lost!


  • Step 1: Draw a line perpendicular to your east-west line. Facing east, north is on the left side of the line.
  • FACT: Did you know? The magnetic compass was in use in China by the first century B.C.E.
  • Step 2: Draw a straight line between the two pebbles. This line points east and west.
  • TIP: The stick's shadow moves eastward as the sun moves westward in the sky.
  • Step 3: Place a pebble at the end of the shadow. This pebble marks the west position.
  • Step 4: Wait 15 minutes and return to the stick. Place a second pebble at the new end of the shadow. This pebble marks the east position.
  • Step 5: Place the stick vertically in the ground so that it casts a clearly visible shadow.

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