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How to Use your Watch as a Compass

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How to Use your Watch as a Compass

If it’s a sunny day, and you have a watch that is reasonably on time, you can locate directions by following these steps:

  • Hold your watch with the flat surface parallel to the ground.
  • Keeping it parallel to the ground, rotate it until the hour hand points in the general direction of the sun.
  • In the morning, south lies about halfway between the hour hand and twelve o’clock, measuring clockwise.
  • In the afternoon, south lies about halfway between the hour hand and twelve o’clock, measuring counter-clockwise.
  • North, of course, will be on the same line, in the opposite direction.

This method isn’t entirely accurate, but if you’re wondering which way to turn at a highway crossroad, for example, it may serve to give you the approximate direction you need.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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