Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch

Surf drifts up close to a beach sundial at 1 PM | Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch | Featured

Tell time in the wild without a watch and add one more skill to your set of outdoor survival skills you’ve learned here!

RELATED: 29 YouTube Survival Skills Videos You Can Learn At Home

In this article:

  1. Using Your Fingers to Estimate the Sunset
  2. Track the Sun’s Position
  3. Using Shadows To Tell Time
  4. Using Your Body Clock

Outdoor Survival Skills: Natural Ways to Tell Time

1. Using Your Fingers to Estimate the Sunset

Hands under sunlight | Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch
A lot of people are mostly unaware of the benefits of survival skills until they’re put into an immediate test. There are certain outdoor skills that become paramount when stuck in a wilderness survival situation. Being able to tell the time is one such skill.

If you’re able to find the approximate time when in the wild, you’ll find yourself better prepared for your hunting, gathering, and general survival skills training.

We can easily estimate the sunset time with the use of our hand. If you’re going for a trek or just simply want to know the remaining daylight, follow the instructions below:

  • First, face the horizon.
  • Extend your arm in front of you and align the top of the index finger to the bottom of the sun.
  • The width of each finger between the sun and horizon is approximately equivalent to 15 minutes.
  • Each hand represents one hour.
  • As the sun drops a finger or a hand, you’ll be able to estimate the time before it goes dark.

Free Last Stand T-Shirt
Free Last Stand T-Shirt

2. Track the Sun’s Position

Sunset | Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch
Basically, the sun rises in the east, it sets in the west, and when it’s right above you, it means it’s about noon. You can use your compass to locate where the east and west (cardinal points) are.

Once you’ve confirmed the directions, follow the instructions below:

  • Imagine an arc from east to west.
  • Divide these into sections with one hour per slice, starting at 6:00 am in the east and ending at 6:00 pm in the west.
  • If the sun is positioned in between sunrise (east position) and noon (sun right above you), then it’s approximately 9:00 am.
  • You can continue to deduce time through this logic.

Watch this video from StrayaMan for full instructions on how to tell time using the sun’s position:

RELATED: Lost In The Woods 101: What To Do When Lost In The Woods

3. Using Shadows to Tell Time

A shadow of a person and trees on grass | Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch
You can also tell time just by looking at your own shadow. Your shadow is shortest when it’s noontime and longest during early morning and late in the evening.

Our shadows also change directions as the day progresses. Rely on the compass from your survival kit to locate true north.

Face the north side and from there, you can figure out where the east and west cardinal points are. Also, you can make a DIY sundial to tell the time just by looking at the position and length of its shadow.

Check out this video from Video Camper and find out how to make a camp sundial:

4. Using Your Body Clock

Young sleepy man is yawning and going to bed late | Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch
We have a 24-hour internal clock called circadian rhythm which runs your brain.

You might have noticed that you feel awake or sleepy around the same time each day. This means your circadian rhythm is at work.

Most adults have a decline in energy after lunchtime (around 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) and in the middle of the night (around 2:00 am to 4:00 am). If you know your routine, you can almost purely rely on your gut-feel to tell the approximate time.

Download, save or share this infographic for reference!

Infographic | Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch

When you’re exploring the wilderness, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the environment, it’s best to head back to your survival shelter before the sun goes down. It’s dangerous to tread an unfamiliar place when there’s no daylight which is when your survival training comes into play.

However, now that you know how to tell the time naturally, you’ll never be caught unaware. You’ve also added a new skill to your set of outdoor survival skills.

Do you know other ways to tell time without a watch? Share your outdoor survival skills and knowledge in the comments section below!

UP NEXT:

For awesome survival gear, you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!

Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

**Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here**

Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch | https://survivallife.staging.wpengine.com/outdoor-survival-skills-tell-time/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Comments

comments

7 Responses to :
Outdoor Survival Skills | Tell Time In The Wild Without A Watch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[email]
[email]