Explore America's Campgrounds
One of the first time-measuring devices, the sundial has been in use for hundreds of years. Although the sundial may not be accurate according to today's time standards, it will give you a general time frame. The sundial compass is a portable version of a traditional sundial. The compass will help you determine direction while on the move so the sundial can be properly placed while in travel. The time may not be completely accurate, but you'll never need to worry about the batteries running out as with a traditional clock.
Place the sundial compass on a level surface. The compass will not read correctly if the surface is uneven, and without the compass working properly, you will not be able to determine the time using the sundial.
Flip the gnomon up and lock it into place. The gnomon is used to cast the shadow from the sun so you can determine the time of day.
Adjust the gnomon until the tip points in the same direction as north based on your compass. The sundial will not tell the correct time unless the gnomon is facing north.
Locate the shadow that is cast on the rim of your sundial. Times are written all around the sundial. Wherever the shadow is cast on the rim, that is roughly the time of day. This measurement will not be completely accurate, but it will give you a general idea.
Based in Indianapolis, Jordan Sellas has been writing how-to guides related to health and education since 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English education from Indiana University.