Author Topic: GPS who needs it when we have asrtolabes, sextants, quadrants, quntants, octants  (Read 2171 times)

Offline caverdude

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All these devices were used in past for navigation and telling time.

astrolabe the more complex was used for surveying.. And there was a mariners astrolabe. 

http://www.astrolabes.org

sextant, quadrant, quintant, and octants were similar devices used for navigation.

I'm not sure but I think a person might get these in smaller sizes which would be handy for the BOB. I have no idea how to use them but it might be good to learn. Another thing to learn in 2013.

Offline caverdude

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Might as well add cross  staff and back staff also used to measure angle of sun or star.

Offline MTUCache

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Ahh.... a subject near and dear to my heart.  ;D

I'm am most definitely fascinated by "primitive" navigation techniques (if anything this advanced in mathematics can be called "primitive").
The idea that kids in the Royal Navy were taught spherical trigonometry just 200 years ago is just mind-blowing, as I'm confident that 99.9% of adults wouldn't be able to wrap their heads around it these days.

While I find the subject intriguing, and I am hoping to learn some of the short-hand methods that navigators used pre-GPS, I don't really know how much post-SHTF application this has. I'm thinking that unless you're on an open ocean (or an endless tract of desert), there are going to be landmarks around you. You'd be much better served with a set of really good maps (now that just about everything you can get your hands on is accurate to within a few feet) and knowing how to read them than you would be with a raw Lat/Long.

From a purely scientific view it's good to know how to do a star shot to find astronomic north, or to be able to transfer ellipsoid distances over long distances, because those things are critical to some of the technology we use today... but in a SHTF scenario? A compass and pacing your distances will probably be good enough to get you to where you're going as long as you've got a few decent maps.

Now.... if your bug-out plan involves a boat... that's another story. :P

Offline caverdude

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Just reading up a bit, a person might be able to easily tell latitude from angle of sun, moon, north start etc. Then travel due east or due west to get to a better position. I can tell you though there are locations in wilderness where even though there is terrain its very difficult to find the exact terrain on a map. And if you are in a flat ocean, flat desert or flat area of woodlands its all the same situation. I don't know myself how these methods work but It would be fun to try them.