How to Use a Watch for a Compass

how to use a watch for a compass


We know every prepper and survivalist is taught to have a compass and a map in their survival bags including EDC.  Congratulations!  You are now fully prepared to navigate through the gates of hell during the apocalypse….or are you?

Are you prepared to find your way in case that you don’t have a compass packed?  Furthermore, what if the compass that you have is broken?  What do you do then?

Well as a prepper you should know to have backups to your backups.  The prepper gospel teaches us to have redundancies.  This is true even when it comes to navigating.

The Importance of Navigation Skills

Finding your way is not only important in SHTF type scenarios.  It can be used in many low-level emergencies.  You can get lost or not know your way in different types of events.  For example, you could get lost while camping and enjoying the great outdoors, having your car break down in the middle of nowhere, or even tagging along with your wife at the mall on Black Friday.

Not to fear!  There are other ways that you can find your way back home and into your comfortable recliner that you have been longing for.  One useful tool is an analog watch.  Do you remember what those look like?  I know, we are living in a day and age where everything is digital.  In fact, most millennials don’t even wear a watch because they rely on their phones to tell time.  In my opinion, every real man should have a watch and more importantly an analog watch.

In this video from Sensible Prepper, he teaches you how you can use your analog watch as a compass.  This isn’t going to give you complete directions.  However, if you know what direction you are coming from then you can get a good idea on how to get back.

Now, I will say that having a Dive watch will be easier to use as a compass.  However, you can still use a plain analog watch.  The difference is that a lot of Dive watches provide a bezel.  In fact, many of these watches were primarily used by the military to use as a compass as well.  Anyhow, let’s get into it.

How to Use a Watch as a Compass

Step 1 – Find the appropriate watch

This is something that I have already discussed.  You will want to use an analog watch ideally with a bezel.  However, a bezel is not required but just makes it easier.

One additional suggestion that I will add is that it would be helpful if the watch has big numbers.  Field and Navigator watches typically have big numbers.  It’s not so much the case with Dive watches.  Again, this isn’t required but is super helpful as it makes it easier to do the math which I will explain later.

It is harder to find Field and Navigator watches with bezels.  So I typically recommend getting a Dive Watch.  To use as a compass you will want a Dive watch with a uni-directional bezel.  One that I recommend is the Casio Men’s Sport Analog Dive Watch.

Step 2 – Set the hands in the appropriate positions

First, you will want to face the current hour hand toward the sun.  Next, you are going to divide the difference between the hour hand and noon.  Now if it is daylight savings time then you are going to divide the difference between the hour and 1 pm.

Step 3 – Divide the difference

This is where a watch with a bezel comes in handy.  The bezel will help you to count the ticks between the two numbers.  This especially helpful if your vision is not that great.

So you will want to count the difference between the hour hand and noon.  For example, if the hour hand is on 11 and it is daylight savings time then you should have a difference of ten.  From there you will divide 10 by 2 because you have two numbers.  The difference in this case will be 5.

Next you will use the bezel to count the difference counter-clock wise.  So, in this case, you will be turning the bezel back from 1 pm by 5 clicks.  That means you will land on 12.  Congratulations you have just found true south!  Happy trails hiking back home!


how to use a watch for a compass