Wilderness Navigation: Old-School Bushcraft Skills

Uncategorized By Aug 14, 2023

In a world that heavily relies on technology for wilderness navigation, the article promotes the use of old-school bushcraft skills. It discusses the importance of using a compass and map to save your life in challenging situations. It also highlights the value of tracking the sun and stars for navigation when a compass is not available. Observing nature’s signs, such as the growth of moss and the behavior of animals, can also provide valuable guidance. While old-school skills are valuable, it is still advisable to carry modern navigation tools as a backup. Improving map-reading skills and learning celestial navigation techniques are also beneficial.

Wilderness Navigation: Old-School Bushcraft Skills

Wilderness Navigation: Old-School Bushcraft Skills


In the era of smartphones and GPS devices, wilderness navigation has become heavily reliant on technology. However, there is something incredibly satisfying about navigating through the wilderness using old-school bushcraft skills. These skills not only deepen your understanding of the environment but also serve as a reliable backup in case your electronic devices fail.

The Art of Using a Compass and Map

One of the most fundamental skills in wilderness navigation is using a compass and map. Understanding how to read a topographic map and orient yourself with a compass can save your life in challenging situations. It allows you to identify landmarks, estimate distances, and plot a course through unknown terrains.

Tracking the Sun and Stars

Before advanced navigation tools existed, people relied on the sun and stars to guide them. Learning how to track the movement of the sun throughout the day and finding direction based on its position can be invaluable when you don’t have access to a compass. Similarly, familiarizing yourself with the constellations and using them as a compass during nighttime navigation can be a fascinating and useful skill.

Natural Navigation Tips

Observing nature’s signs and using them for navigation is another essential skill. For example, moss typically grows on the north side of trees in the northern hemisphere, providing a clue about direction. Ants always build their nests on the south side of tree trunks, which can help you determine where south is. By paying attention to the behavior of animals, the growth patterns of plants, and the flow of water, you can gather valuable information to guide your way.


1. Can I solely rely on old-school bushcraft skills for wilderness navigation?

While old-school bushcraft skills are incredibly valuable, it is always advisable to carry modern navigation tools as well. They can provide you with precise information and act as a backup in case unforeseen circumstances occur.

2. How can I improve my map-reading skills?

Improving map-reading skills requires practice. Start by studying topographic maps and understanding the key symbols and contour lines. Take small trips to practice your skills and gradually increase the difficulty of the terrain you navigate through.

3. Is it necessary to learn celestial navigation techniques?

Celestial navigation techniques are not necessary for basic wilderness navigation, but they can be incredibly useful, especially in situations where you don’t have access to a compass or other modern tools. Learning a few key constellations and how to use them as guides is a worthwhile skill to acquire.