There are many reasons you might find yourself lost in the woods, or learn how to make a compass from scratch. You may have accidentally set out on a hike unprepared and found that you were too far in to outrun the darkness. You may have been hiking with friends who decided to go their separate ways, leaving you alone. Your car could have broken down and dumped you miles away from anywhere remotely safe. Or, like Lewis and Clark, while traveling through the wild west on their expedition across America in 1804, your crew could become separated from one another for days or weeks at a time due to rivers or mountains blocking roads. The elements could have also caught up to the expedition and you might find yourself lost in the woods. Whatever your reason is, it’s a good idea to know how to make a compass from scratch.
A compass is one of those things that just do not come with a manual. While it may be easy enough to use a lap-top compass without any instructions, getting accurate directions while lost in the woods can be a little more tricky. If you are lost in the woods and need a way out, how to make a compass from scratch may be your only option. The following will explain how to make a compass from scratch if you are lost in the woods.
You will need the following supplies to make a compass from scratch:
1) A 2 Liter plastic soda bottle.
2) A cork.
3) A paper clip.
You should also have a knife and compass with you, but they will not be used for making a compass from scratch. They should, however, be available to you if you find yourself lost in the woods and without a compass of your own. You will use the knife to poke holes in the plastic soda bottle, while the compass can be used to determine north if you need it after making your own compass from scratch.
You will need to poke holes in the bottle at a cross-section, using the cork as a guide to position the holes correctly. Simply place the cork where you want your compass to lead (or point) and poke a hole all the way through. Once you have located three evenly spaced holes, you can cut out the top of the bottle with scissors. This will leave behind a pointed triangle, which is your finished compass. You should probably rebind your points to a different part of the bottle before you use it, as this point can become loose.
Once you have finished making your compass from scratch, you can start to use it:
1) Hold the bottle upright with one hand and point the small hole (for north) at a fixed object.
If you are lost in the woods, then hold up a nearby tree or object of any sort and look through the small hole to determine whether this is north or not. If it is north-facing, then you are looking at North (if pointing in an easterly direction). If it is south-facing, then the object is pointing due south.
2) With the bottle still pointing north, mark an X on the bottom of the bottle. This point will be your “center.”
3) Pick a spot and draw two pencil lines that extend out through both holes. These marks will become your compass points. If you are lost in the woods, have a compass with you and cannot locate North, then locate one of these lines that runs through the hole and draw an “X” at this spot on your compass point. This point will be your “center.” Every other direction on the compass will be measured from this center line.
4) Rotate the bottle 90 degrees and repeat steps 1 through 3. You should find that one line now runs through the North hole and the other runs out through a South hole. If you are lost in the woods, then use this new line as your “center” and draw an “X” at this spot on your compass point.
You have now finished making your own compass from scratch. Repeat these steps if you want to make another three-pointed compass like the one above for a map of compass points.