Solo Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Nya learns how to figure out where she is based on a whole host of things.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Postby Nya Winters on December 1st, 2016, 2:31 am

Timestamp: 30th of Fall, 516 AV


OOC: Continued From :Firecraft II & Orientation

Randal smiled at Nya. “Syna is truly your friend out in the jungle, if you can get to an open enough place in the canopy to see her. I teach this first in orientation because I want you to understand that its not easy to use astronomy to navigate in the jungle. The emergent layer really prevents seeing the sun a great deal of the time. So you need to find clearings. Where’s the best place for them?” Nya thought for a moment before she answered his question.

“I would check along streams, where trees have freshly fallen, or even openings in the canopy where say lakes or rock outcroppings are.”
The Kelvic said, thinking quickly and trying to figure out if that’s what Randal meant. She looked pleased when he nodded, agreeing with her logic.

“Good girl. Smart thinking. Yes, start there. You won’t find much full sun under the trees. And that’s definitely where you need to not make a mistake. First, the sun shines most of the day in the southern part of the sky causing shade to fall on northern exposures.” Randal tapped a tree and the shade on its northern side for reinforcement. “If you can remember this, you can get away without having a compass. And down here, moss and lichen grow in the shade, which is everywhere… but it is thickest on the shadiest sides… hence the northern part of a tree. Look around though. This fact can change due to things around the area such as bigger trees that cast shade on the wrong side or features like rises and falls of hills in the jungle. Lets go find a stream bank with a clear view of the sky and bright sun to demonstrate the next method.” Randal said, gesturing for Nya to lead the way.

She was glad to look for a place Randal could demonstrate his next lesson to her.

The Kelvic sniffed the air and set off through the brush, careful to avoid trails and to weave through the foliage like he’d taught her. The scent of fresh water wasn’t so much a scent of the water itself, but rather the scent of the typical vegetation that grew along the waterway. Randal followed, amused, until Nya broke out of the thick foliage and slid down a small slope to come to a stop near the sandy shore of a slow moving low gradient stream. Sunlight streamed down on the water, partially from the water clearing the water created but also from the fact that sometime in the recent past the water had eroded the bank underneath one of the bigger emergent trees and caused the tree to topple. The death of the elder tree had opened up a section of the canopy at this particular location where sunlight streamed down. In response all sorts of tiny saplings, probably the offspring of that very tree laying on its side decaying, all raced to fill the elder’s vacated spot.

Randal moved out into the open and beckoned Nya over. “Now…. This is a great spot to learn about the stick and shadow method. Have you ever heard about it?” Nya shook her head but walked closer.


Last edited by Nya Winters on December 13th, 2017, 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nya Winters
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Posts: 730
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Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Postby Nya Winters on December 13th, 2017, 5:11 am


“I’ve never heard of it. I need a stick and sunlight to create shadows right? How long of a stick?” Nya said, looking around having worked long enough with Randal to know he’d make her cut her own tools to learn his lessons.

“A couple of feet is fine…. three is better.” He said, amused, and watching as the kelvic hunted. At least the fallen corpse of the tree provided plenty of sticks. Nya spotted one that looked like it had potential and wedged her foot into the nook where the old dried branch stuck out of a limb of the fallen giant. She yanked it sideways and quickly used her Kukri to strip it down to just a fine long stick. Then she crossed the stream to where Randal was standing in the clearing and handed him the stick. He nodded his approval, took out his small hatchet, and used the flat of it to drive the three foot stick into the soft jungle dirt.

“Okay, remember the sun travels from east to west thus causing shadows to travel opposite or west to east. So planting a stick like this, Nya, will help you tremendously in figuring out what direction is what if you are patient. See where the shadow falls?” He gestured at the shadow the stick cast on the ground in the full sun, something that would not have happened under the gloom of the thick jungle canopy.

Nya nodded.

“Mark the end of its shadow with something… another stick, a stone…. Anything it doesn’t matter.” Randal hopped over to the stream and picked up a couple of river rocks on the margins of the creek. He walked back to the stick and sat the rock down on top of where the stick cast its long shadow. Nya watched fascinated, keeping her eyes on the stick.

“Then wait twenty or thirty chimes and mark again where the shadow falls. The line between the first rock and the second rock will mark your east to west line. East will be your final stone, west will be your first stone.” He said, tracing an invisible W on the first stone and an E on the second stone. Then he turned and pointed…. “Thus west…. “ and he turned gesturing the other direction…. “and east!” He declared.

Nya studied the method and nodded, picking up both stones and resetting the first one on the shadow. Then she hunched down, preparing to rest, to wait the thirty chimes in practice to mark the second or east stone. It was a simple and somewhat foolproof method, the Kelvic decided as she smiled at Randal.

“This is clever. I wonder who the first person was that figured this out? I would have never thought to do it myself.” The Stormwarden said softly, speculatively. “And knowing east is important because if you walk east here, especially on The Maw, you will hit the Suvan and the coast will lead you home… usually but not always south.” She speculated.

Randal nodded his approval. “Indeed. West will take you deeper into the jungle and into Falyndar’s wilds. I would not recommend it alone and without provisions or a destination.” Her guide cautioned.

Nya nodded. “Most of that is undiscovered or filled with Myrians, right?” Randal nodded, half smiling, and shrugging.

“I think there are far more wild animals than Myrians though. Taloba is far to the south. There are snake people closer to us, but rumor has it Myrians have them surrounded and cut off in some sort of age old war they’ve been waging with each other.” He said, looking thoughtfully off in the direction they’d determined was west.

Nya nodded. “I wonder if they even remember why they are fighting? Such things are often common… wars that don’t end." The Kelvic said softly, remembering her own part in such things in the past.

Randal nodded. "Lets focus on Surviving the Wilderness. That in itself is a war. There's more I can teach you.... so listen close." He said, walking away from the stick, obviously done with that part of the lesson. Nya followed, not willing to miss anything he said. She'd learned a lot under him and wanted to keep learning.



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Nya Winters
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Posts: 730
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Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Postby Nya Winters on December 13th, 2017, 5:25 am



“I brought my compass to show you how to use it, but I know you don’t have one yourself. I do know we got your medical kit put together and you have needles in there. So I’m going to teach you how to make a makeshift compass quickly until you can afford your own.” Randal said, switching gears. He was glad the stream Nya had brought them too was a low gradient slow moving one. It was perfect for the next part of this lesson.

“Now, can you grab one of those needles out of the pack?”
Randal asked. Nya nodded and moved to comply, swinging her pack off her back and kneeling for a moment to dig through it. She pulled out her rolled up medical kit and extracted a needle. Carefully she handed it to Randal and repacked the kit. Randal examined the needle for a moment and then grinned.

“I swear this works. I’m not making fun of you. Take this needle or even a small piece of wire and rub it against your head Nya… vigoriously! You can also stroke it with silk, though that’s hard to come by. It makes it a sort of magnet for a few minutes. Then take a flat leaf and lay the needle on the leaf. Then float it on still water…. That eddy there should work well…. And watch it turn circles until it stops.” Randal handled the needle back to Nya along with the leaf. She rubbed it against her head, then laid the needle on the leaf and watched the leaf turn circles until it arched back and forth and settled on pointing in a singular direction.

“What direction is that?!?” Nya asked, still shocked the leaf did that and stared at Randal.

“That, my dear, is dead north. So if you have a tiny bit of metal you can float on a leaf, you can forever know which direction north is. Then from there, remember this is what the compass point looks like.”
He added, brushing aside a few bits of leaves and twigs from the bank while he traced a pattern in the sand.
N
|
W ------------E
|
S


“If you can remember this diagram, and you find north, you can know what each direction is.” He reaffirmed, letting her gather up the needle, discard the leaf, and put the needle away. They were through with it anyhow.
“I get the E and the W confused a lot.” Nya said, knowing this wasn’t the first time she’d seen that diagram. It was on every compass on every ship everywhere. But it was hard to remember because she mixed up the directions all the time.

“Just look at it this way. North is first and always at the top…. West and east spell WE. You won’t get it mixed up if you think North WE South…. Right? North is always towards the colder lands. South is always towards the warmer lands. Memorize that diagram and I’ll show you next how to read an actual working compass, okay?” Randal said, meeting her eyes.

Nya nodded. “Cold, WE, Warm…. Gotcha.” The kelvic seemed to understand and lock this fact into her brain as she watched Randal then pause and pull out his compass. The item was metal, gleaming, and something she rarely saw. They were expensive at best.. .well over a hundred Mizas. But Nya knew they were worth the expense and had one on her list to give to James to see if he could find on his next trip to Riverfall.


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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 730
Words: 763864
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
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Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Postby Nya Winters on December 14th, 2017, 2:06 am



Randal smiled, gave Nya a chance to retrieve her needle and replace it in her pack, then dug out his own compass. He then handed it to her to look over. “You need to get one of those as soon as possible.” He advised, knowing she’d put it on her list for James’ next run on The Veronica. “The first thing we need to do is get you used to what all these parts are and what they do.” He said, letting her look over the compass and showing her which parts moved and which stayed static. Nya carefully watched as he began to explain, pointing to the parts and detailing for her what they did.

“The first part is this baseplate. Most compasses on ships are round and have nothing else going on with them. The hand-held compasses you use for navigation and orientation in the woods to survive have a flat plate like this one. It supports the compass housing and helps you orientate to a map, if you have one. This line here? It’s a direction of travel arrow.” He said, tracing a dirty fingernail along the line that lead from the center of the compass outwards.

“Next is the compass housing. It contains a magnetic needle. The outer edge of the compass housing is called the dial, and it moves around so it rotates so you can align it to the desired direction. That arrow printed on the bottom of the housing is the orienting arrow.” Randal said, pointing out the arrow that was printed on thin glass inside. The housing had numbers all around and the letters N S E W on them. The numbers started at 20 and went all the way to 340.

Nya paused to ask him why. “What are these numbers?” The kelvic asked, pointing to the degree marks on the rim. Randal looked thoughtful for a moment and then replied carefully. “Those are called degrees. It’s a mathematical term but I can show you really quickly.” Randal said, glad they were still by the stream and its firm muddy bank. He broke off a branch really quick and found a clean spot of hardened mud to draw in. He sketched a huge circle in the mud and began to divide it up from the center outward. He divided it in half and then in quarters and then even further like slices of a pie.

“The Alaheans watched the sky. They noted the sun and moon moved across it. We know the moon circles us and we circle the sun. It takes 360 days to complete a ‘circuit’ if you pay attention to the stars and their patterns. So they translated that into math and circles. So each circle has a degree to it. Those are what the marking on the compass is all about. There are 360 degrees in a circle. So if I say something is 90 degrees to the north… that means its perpendicular to you. 180 degrees? That’s behind you. See the marks? They match the compass marks.” Nya nodded, understanding. From her childhood lessons with her mother, she vaguely remembered math and talking about degrees. It wasn’t until Randal sketched it out for her that she understood.

Going back to the compass, he continued the lesson. “Finally, this arrow inside the bottom of the housing is called the Orienting Arrow.” He said, gesturing at the final part. Nya nodded, following his explanation and trying to lock those ideas into her memory. Randal had stressed over and over again how important a compass was, so she didn’t want to forget any of the parts.

“So, how does it actually work? It looks mysterious and arcane…. out of my league.” The Kelvic commented, looking a little intimidated at the whole setup.

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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 730
Words: 763864
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
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Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Postby Nya Winters on December 14th, 2017, 2:36 am



Randal laughed a little, trying to lighten up the Kelvics obvious intimidation. “It is a kind of magic, in a way. The “magic” is the magnetic end of the compass. The needle is always painted red indicating that’s where the magnet is. And what’s “magic” about that is because its floating and can spin, the needle will always point to the north, no matter how you hold it or where you are standing.” He said, smiling as Nya leaned over and watched the compass spin in her hand as she moved around, testing his words out.

“Be careful you aren’t standing by someone with a lot of iron or steel on them, like one of those Syliran Knights in full armor or something huge and metal like say the blades of the sawmill. They will affect the needle and the needle will point towards the metal instead of north. So get well away from those things before you use your compass.” He said, warning her of the common mistakes people who used compasses often had happen.

“So most people assume that the needle … the red magnetic one… must be lined up with the north and the direction of the travel arrow and the orientating arrow. You don’t do this unless you want to hike true north. What you need to do instead is decide the direction you want to go and rotate the dial without turning the base plate in your hand so the compass point you’ve chosen lines up with the direction of the travel arrow on the base plate. Remember… the travel arrow is the way you want to TRAVEL.” He said. Then leaned over and continued the lesson. “Now, don’t’ turn the compass in your hand or move it, instead rotate YOURSELF until the orientating arrow lines up under the red end of the magnetic needle. You are now facing your desired direction and will go the right way. The important thing is…… the direction of travel arrow must always point away from you to the front. It should never point AT you in your hand unless you are going to….” He laughed then, teasing the kelvic. “…. walk backwards.”

Nya laughed and suddenly realized because of his joke, she’d remember how to use the compass correctly for a long long time. Randal was a good teacher. She would appreciate the lesson long afterwards and use it many many times when she had her own compass.

“And we both know how you feel about walking backwards. You cant see where you are going or plot your line of sight.” Nya laughed lightly then tried to hand the compass back to him. Randal shook his head.

“Oh no. We are practicing a bit. Find true north, then walk east and plot that as your course. Lets practice for a while until I’m sure you have it.” He said, gesturing for her to do it. She did, setting the compass in the proper alignment and setting off, her instructor at her heels. For the rest of the afternoon, Randal called directions, Nya would stop, reset her compass, and set out trying to follow his direction. She made one or two mistakes, but as a bell passed, she had it well in hand and was understanding both the degrees and how the compass functioned well enough to get along in the jungle without getting to lost as long as she had some idea of where she was in the world.



User avatar
Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 730
Words: 763864
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Never Say Die (1) Donor (1)
2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)

Wilderness Survival : Orientation & Moving Around Safely.

Postby Nya Winters on December 14th, 2017, 2:43 am

Grading



Experience: Wilderness Survival +5, Land Navigation +5, Observation +3, Mathematics +1, Astronomy +2

Lore: WS: Syna is your friend, WS: Stick and Shadow Method, WS: Using A Compass, Astronomy: The Sun Travels From East To West, WS: Shadows travel from West To East, Falyndar: Filled with Myrians & Dhani, WS: Parts of a Compass, WS: Making A Makeshift Compass, WS: N, S, E, W Points Of The Compass, Mathematics: 360 Degrees In A Circle, Astronomy: 360 days in a year thus 360 degrees in a circle,


User avatar
Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 730
Words: 763864
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Never Say Die (1) Donor (1)
2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)


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