Thumbdial: Finding a Way Through the Fog When Directions Seem Impossible

Thumbdial Shadow

Again, while we should all have some kind of direction finder in our bug-out bag or pocket, if we do not this “thumbdial” method is a lifesaver! Think of it as a sundial working in reverse!

The secret of the thumbdial is that it reveals the sun’s location by revealing it’s shadow.

Begin by standing in an open area and placing the tip of a knife blade on top of your thumbnail and rotate it slowly, watching for a slight shadow to be revealed on the matte textured surface. The location of the sun of course is on the opposite side of the knife blade from the shadow. The wide and narrow silhouette of the blade helps to accent this. The sun’s brightness is defused in fog but still maintains a brighter presence which is revealed by the very slight shadow.

You have to really look for the shadow because it’s nearly imperceptible. Yet, once you see it you’ll understand how important it is in determining the direction you will need to travel towards.

Thanks to Survivaltek for this awesome direction finder, an incredible survival tool, especially when you are trapped in the fog!

Featured Image via Survivaltek


  1. Ron Goodrich said:

    On a cloudy day look up and close your eyes you will be Albee to tell where the sun is.

  2. Jeff Wilson said:

    The shadow of the knife opposite of that would be north. I didn’t read the article I’m guessing how far off am I

  3. Dana Carver said:

    Anyone that would go into the wilderness without a compass would not have the sense to carry a knife.