On Discovering Self

"Walk in Peace... Learn from Nature... Find Yourself...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Bushcrafting A "Compass" To Draw A Circle, Make A Clock Face, Find Direction With Digital Watch

   I have always been intrigued with ways of finding direction and the means to navigate. I simply like maps. I love looking at all kinds of maps. I enjoy making maps and possess a lot of different types of compasses to use with maps. Maps speak to me sometimes of unexplored territory, or undiscovered resources and even far away lands that I will probably never see but can only imagine.
   The world of maps and cartography is so vast that you can get lost in all the pictures and drawings and historic content that has been recorded in the volumes of maps that have been created since the dawn of recorded history.
   We humans like to record where we have been. We want other humans to follow us, to know that we existed, there and in that place. Maps are a way of leaving our mark, of giving ourselves a measure of significance, if only for a short time. We want others to know we were there and maps record our passage thru time and space.
   So if I have waxed a bit poetic, it is because maps and navigation and pictures and the stories we tell of how we got out there and made it back, all of this speaks to the heart of bushcraft. Maps, whether in our heads or on paper, or on bark, or on a rock and whatever, they are our way of finding the connection and kinship with the landscape the helps us find our place in the world of bushcraft.
   It is no wonder I have a small love affair with maps and finding direction and knowing where I am. It helps me feel at home, it brings on the familiar, it brings a level of comfort knowing that I can always find home because I am there already.
   So this is why I like playing with methods of finding direction. It helps me to feel at home and it brings comfort in the knowledge that all of natures resources are within my grasp if I know where I am and know where those things are.
   I took the time on a recent Sunday outing to explore how to make an analog clock face, to be able to translate the time on my digital watch to it, so that I could align the hour hand with the sun and get a bearing for north and south.
   Here is a short video of my experiment in learning to draw a precise circle with an improvised "compass" and to divide that circle into a clock face, that would be re-usable and transportable.

   It was a great little project, and a lot of fun and in the end gave me even more ideas about how to create accurate circles and angles and compass roses and other thoughts on geometry and well, I guess now we are back to maps and map making again. We've come full circle and that's what it's all about. Finding our way home. Until next time, Happy Exploring.

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