Making a compass is about as manly as it gets. It’s not just an exercise in chest puffery though. It’s a functional skill.
Plane crashed? Lost in the wilderness? Get off-track during your African safari tour? Admittedly, these scenarios happen less often but there is always camping. Anyone who’s really attempted some deep-woods camping has probably experienced the art of getting lost on more than one occasion.
Enter the compass. This simplistic little magnetized device has saved countless men from a fate unbeknownst to them and put them back on the path to safety and civilization.
A magnetized strip of metal will naturally align itself with the north and south lines of the earth’s magnetic field and point north, if allowed to move freely.
You’ll only need a wire and a magnet for this creation. If you’re lost in the great outdoors without a real compass (hopefully you would always be wise enough to take one when traveling to unknown terrain), look for magnets in just about any cheap electronic device, such as a portable radio or audio speakers.
1) Find a small piece of wire. This will soon be the needle that points north.
A nail or sewing needle will work equally as well.
2) Magnetize the wire or nail by stroking it several times with the magnet.
This action makes the wire a magnetic needle, allowing it to align north and south.
3) Put the now magnetized wire on something that floats. We’re using a cork here. If you’re in the wild, find a flat piece of branch to float your wire on.
The wire points north and you’re headed to freedom!