How To Make A Compass In The Wild

How To Make A Compass In The Wild?

There are many waves of panic when you get lost in the wilderness without cell phone reception or a map or compass. People who have been hiking in the great outdoors can tell you that panic sets in very quickly. Consider the following scenario: night has fallen, and there is no food, drink, or shelter in sight. How can you even begin to think of returning to civilization?

While many would argue that venturing outside without a survival pack (equipped with a compass) is ridiculous, the reality is that accidents can happen, and survival packs may get misplaced. As a result, no matter how well-prepared you are for a trip into the outdoors, you must always have a basic understanding of outdoor survival skills to assist you in getting by if you find yourself without any equipment.

You must be able to navigate, which is one of the most vital skills you may have, and a compass is the most prominent tool for this purpose. So, let’s look at how to make a compass in the wilderness so that you can find your way back home.

Needle And String Method

Needle And String Method

With the needle and string method, you don’t need a lot of tools. This makes it the best way to get things done in real emergencies.

  • Take a string from your garment.
  • Look for a piece of wire, such as a pin or a needle.
  • When you rub the piece of metal with silk, wool, or hair, it will become magnetic. So rub that piece of metal at least 50 times.
  • Swing the needle from the string at a place with no wind. It should then be pointing in the direction of magnetic north and south.
  • Determine which end of the needle points north by looking at the sun and marking it on the needle.

Now that you’ve learned the most fundamental technique of building a compass let’s look at some different approaches to creating a field compass. The fundamentals of all of these approaches are the same: you will need a pivoting mechanism and a piece of magnetic metal for each. The difference is in the pivoting device you employ and how you magnetize your metal.

What is the best way to pivot your needle?

What is the best way to pivot your needle

The pivot’s function is to enable the needle to travel freely, and there are numerous variations possible based on just how much equipment you have with yourself.

The floating leaf

Placing the pin on a little floating leaf provides it with the ability to move freely. You will, however, need a tiny container filled with water to transport this compass on the go.

The cork

Another way to do this is to stick the needle through a piece of cork or the plastic lid. Then, you can let it float on the water.

String and tin

By connecting the needle to a thread and placing it in a tin can or bottle, you may construct a more lightweight magnet that is also windproof.

What is the best way to magnetize metal?

What is the best way to magnetize metal

The use of wool or hair to magnetize a piece of metal is relatively simple and may be employed in difficult situations. There are, however, more effective methods of creating a needle magnet, but these need the purchase of additional equipment. It is essential to remember that the metal must be ferrous (iron, nickel, or cobalt).

Using a Magnet

Magnets may be made using magnets. If you happen to have a magnet on hand, you may use it to magnetize your needle. To magnetize the needle, rub it in one direction with your magnet multiple times until it becomes magnetic. If there’s an emergency, you may find magnets within mobile phones and vehicle speakers.


A steel or iron item will get magnetized if repeatedly tapped against one end of the needle. Most of the time, a knife blade will do the task. In order to magnetize the needle, insert it into a piece of wood and tap on the other end.

Battery and wire

You may use a tiny battery to magnetize your needle if you have one with you electrically. Basically, wrap the needle in a bit of paper, wrap some electrical wires around it and attach one end of the wire to the positive battery pole and the other end to the negative battery pole to complete the circuit.

After a few minutes, the flow of electricity will magnetize the needle inside the paper, causing it to spin. The needle might heat up due to the energy flowing through it, but this is normal.

How To Assemble A Wilderness Survival Kit

How To Assemble A Wilderness Survival Kit

The fact that we can make a compass in the wild is excellent, but we’d rather be ready. The most effective strategy is to prepare a fantastic wilderness survival kit. Note that a survival kit should be lightweight and small. It should not be a burden to bear or obstruct your movements.

In an emergency, you should have a survival pack that you can grab on the go. You should be able to take it with you wherever you go, as well. It should just include the bare minimum of essentials to keep you alive for a short length of time in an emergency.

To help those who were not involved with Scouting or who have forgotten what we were taught, here is a list of items that you should include in your survival kit and why they should be included.

  1. Compass: Nowadays, most individuals prefer to navigate using a GPS device that they take with them. These are less complicated to operate and far more accurate.The problem is that a GPS is an electrical piece of equipment that may be dropped, broken, or run out of battery life. As a result, you should never depend entirely on a GPS device but instead, include a compact pocket compass in your survival gear as well. Please make sure that you understand how to utilize it as well!
  2. GPS: Acknowledging the limits of your instruments allows you to better prepare for when they fail. Having said that, I can speak to the convenience and comfort of having a GPS device with you when out in the wilderness. The prices of these instruments have decreased significantly over the past several years, making them much cheaper. They should be included in your emergency preparedness kit.
  3. A first-aid kit should be kept on hand: A scratch or a few mosquito bites will not hinder you from reaching your objective, and your first-aid bag should therefore concentrate on genuine emergencies. Quality first aid kits may be purchased from medicine shops or the American Red Cross, among other places. It should include a solar blanket, a triangular bandage, surgical blades, butterfly sutures, disinfectants, and pain relievers, among other things.
  4. Tablets for purifying water sources: Maintaining your hydration is critical to your survival in the wilderness, and although you may survive for a few days without enough food, one day without water can be fatal. Finding water is seldom an issue when you’re out in nature, thanks to the abundance of rivers, dams, lakes, puddles, and streams. On the other hand, drinking contaminated water might result in diarrhea and dehydration. Drinking water may be made safe by using these pills.
  5. Fire-starting gear: Butane lighters, waterproof matches, and magnesium fire starters are the most common options. In the woods, fire is essential because it gives light, heat, and protection from predators.
  6. Knife: A compact yet sharp multipurpose knife, such as an army knife, is likely the most beneficial. When hunting in the wilderness, it is also critical to know how to sharpen your knife correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions regarding making a compass in a survival situation.

How do you make a compass when you are lost?

Using a magnet to create a compass needle is the quickest and most effective method, and it’s incredibly beneficial when you’re working with a razor blade. Rub the magnet against the needle or blade 20 to 30 times in a single direction. The most common method of suspending magnetic metal is to suspend it in water.

How do you make a compass without a needle?

In this case, you may use a paperclip:

  1. Put water in the container.
  2. Make a straight line with your paperclip.
  3. Apply mild pressure to the paperclip with your magnet and run it over it 3 to 4 times in a single direction, being certain to draw the magnet away from the clip when returning to the initial position.
  4. Fill the container with the bottle cap so that it floats.
  5. Use the paperclip to secure the bottle cap.
  6. If the paperclip does not spin and locate North, make sure it is properly magnetized by passing the magnet over it a few more times.

Does a needle on a leaf work as a compass?

Yes, just like the bottle cap, a needle will work too. Any object would work, but just make sure that it floats.

How do you find north in the woods?

To identify the north, look at the sun’s direction. Sunrises in the east and sets in the west. See where the sun is and you’ll know where north is.

I hope you have found this advice to be helpful in your preparations for crises in the wilderness. Make sure you are prepared, and if an emergency occurs, be calm and rational; it might save your life.

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