Friday , December 4 2020

How to measure the sunlight left with your hands

You're in the woods near the end of the day and you wonder: should I install the field now, or do I have enough daylight to continue trekking along the trail? But you're not sure what time it's sunset, and how much light you've left. Of course, you could check your watch / phone, if you have one. But maybe it does not work, and even if it were, it's a simple and ancient method that you can use to find out how many hours of light there are before sunset. The interesting part is that the only equipment you need is your hands.

Keep in mind that this method varies depending on your geographic location. In the north, the sun sets at lower angles, allowing a more usable light than your hands show. The day will darken faster in the tropics, where the sun sets almost straight. And regardless of the latitude you are in, consider also your local environment. If the sun is setting towards a mountain range, you will lose the light much faster than you would in a vast open plain. In a forest, you will also lose the light faster as the tree crown blocks the faded light of twilight.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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