How to Make a Survival Compass With 3 Items

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compasses are magnetic pins that follow the earths magnitic pull.

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Step 1: Items.

for the compass u need :

1. sewing needle

2. cork (real not plastic.)

3. magnet

Step 2: First..............

take magnet and rub against needle in 1 direction 100 times

Step 3: Second.......

cut cork in a quarter

Step 4: Next......

put needle through cork the thin way

Step 5: Done!!!!!

float cork on water and it will point north

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18 Discussions

Yes, you're magnetising the needle, but stroking it with one pole will make the pointy end the north, stroking it with the other will make the eye end north. How do you know which way the needle is pointing if you don't already know which way north is? Creating a north pole ALWAYS creates a south pole too. (You could have an educated guess if you could watch the Sun for a bit - that will move roughly from east to west.)

i understand your'e problem but if you take a real compass then you can tell which end is north

Exactly!  You're comparing your magnetised needle against a reference.
So now you know which end of the needle is pointing North, is it pointing towards the North pole or the South pole of the Earth?
(Remember, like poles repel; unlike poles attract #;¬)

compasses are nice to have ,but not necessary to survival if a person is in the wild, you can use two things to get where you want to be. First is the sun east to west which is a given , then there is the marker, when you leave camp look to n,e,s,w, some things don't change ,a permanent place that won't move whether it is a rock formation, a mountain, a large tree these things can save you when lost, also while moving around check your back trail often for this same information.Sorry but I was taught to survive in the wild with only a knife. I have made all types of weapons also utensils with only a knife and I did not have a film crew to CMA nor any modern electronics. PS most rivers run north to south, following a river or stream will take you to civilization.

Good idea about looking for a far-off fixed point as a reference, although I can't agree with your statement about most rivers running north to south. Maybe that's the case in the area you live, but here in the UK we're mainly east to west (or west to east). Google Earth will show you that rivers are so much more a result of plate tectonics than axis of spin.

if you know he direction of flow then directions should be easy to determine. But from a survival standpoint finding water will give you all the necessities to survive and wait or rescue or get to a place of safety. One thing is common anywhere in the world, People are near sources of water . The only exception is the north or south pole then temperatures are he deciding factors......Check out the ancient mariners on the internet this gives a lot of insight into navigation.. You will be amazed at the instruments they used .......Compasses are great too have but not really a necessity. PS to determine the river flow in any part of the world you can use the sun or the moon as a constant . I may not have Google maps with me when I need them.......

take another compass and if the eye of the homemade compass points the same way as the other compasses north....

not sure but I have always heard of the magnetic north of course you could magnetize two pins and find the repelling ends to tell which is which, I have never been in this position because I was taught to survive in the wild,position is set because you look in all directions to find landmarks that will help you with directions. If you are looking at the morning sun then directions is east ,west is behind you north is right , south is left, reverse for afternoon sun....

. . . you could magnetize two pins and find the repelling ends to tell which is which. . . .

Two north poles would repel . . . and so would two south poles, so you're no better off.

As you say, looking at other clues (the sun, moss on trees etc) would let you know which is which, but there is no way of telling which pole is which with purely a magnetic method.

if you had a source of water i.e. river couldn't you just follow it south or north?

If you go to the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Fairborn, Ohio; you can see examples of these pressed from phonograph records heated with a candle to make the cup or dish. The needle was mounted in a disc of cardboard. Captured airmen used these to guide them after escaping from prisoner of war camps.

This is always a great thing to make...great for teaching the kids. But you're off in your amount of items needed. You actually need 5 things. Needle, cork, magnet, bowl, water.