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While this skill can be essential to your survival in the wilderness, it's also a neat trick to show your friends.
- Find the location of the sun, without looking directly at it.
- Raise your arm and then place your hand out as far as you can with your fingers perpendicular to the ground.
- Start with your hand positioned underneath the horizon.
- Count the number of times you have to flip your hand upwards before you see that your hand is sitting just beneath the sun. Each hand width (e.g. 4 fingers lined up) represents about one hour until the sun sets.
- Swap to using fingers if there is less than one hour until sunset. Each finger typically represents around 15 minutes.
- This actually measures the amount of time before the sun disappears beyond the horizon. There will still be some light in the sky after that point.
- This method is approximately correct for latitudes where the bulk of the world's population lives. However as you go above 50 degrees latitude and get closer to the Northern or Southern Poles (eg Canada or Scandinavia), the sun will appear for longer near to the horizon and this method will not work.
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