The Sun provides an excellent means of direction finding too. The ideal situation is one where the sky is bright and relatively free of clouds.
The first method is called a “shadow stick compass.” In an open area, clear away forest debris and duff. Place a stick or trekking pole (extended about three feet – longer is better than shorter) into the ground as deep as possible (see image below.)
To find north, I simply put the toes of my boots next to the markers with my body perpendicular to the yellow line made by the twine. Facing away from the trekking pole, north is straight in front of me.
“An ordinary watch can be used to determine the approximate true north. In the North Temperate Zone only, the hour hand is pointed toward the sun. A north-south line can be found midway between the hour and 12 o’clock. (See image below.) This applies to standard time; on daylight saving time, the north-south line is found midway between the hour hand and 1 o’clock. If there is any doubt as to which end of the line is north, remember that the sun is in the eastern part of the sky before noon and in the western part in the afternoon. On cloudy days place a stick in the center of the watch and hold it so that the shadow of the stick falls along the hour hand. One-half of the distance between the shadow and 12 o’clock is north.”