1. Due to the amount of SPAM from foreign countries lately, we have made the decision to manually approve all new members. While we regret that this must be done and the added time that it will take for new members to be approved, it is necessary at this time. We hope to have legitimate new members approved in a timely manner, no longer than a couple of hours. If the Administrators are online at the time, it can be as soon as a couple of minutes. Thank you for your patience.
    Dismiss Notice

Time to Sun Set

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by werewolf won, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    12,228
    Likes Received:
    10,063
    Location:
    East Freetown, MA
    If you can see the horizon and the sun you can estimate the time to sunset pretty accurately with this simple thumb rule type trick. Hold your hand out at arm’s length with your hand flat palm facing you and your fingers in line with the horizon. Place the edge of your hand on the lower edge (limb) of the sun and count the number of fingers between the sun and the horizon. Each finger is approximately 15 minutes before the sun sets. So if four fingers filled the space the sun will set in about an hour. Naturally people’s arms and fingers are different sizes so the 15 minutes per finger is an approximation, but it’s a very close approximation. This works best towards the end of the day when the sun is getting low in the sky, and if the horizon is the ocean rather than land the estimate is a lot more accurate.
     
  2. central joe

    central joe Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    7,380
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    It can also be used to approximate time in the morning until the sun gets too high. joe
     
    MrFixIt, rsnurkle, Nonc-Tobe and 3 others like this.
  3. weltondl

    weltondl Sergeant of Marines Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    4,203
    Location:
    North coast of ohio
    I found this method to work for me. I use it when I'm hunting as I hate wearing a watch.
     
  4. GoKartz

    GoKartz Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1,865
    Location:
    Lansdale, PA
    Learned this is the military, really handy.
     
  5. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    I approximated this with clenched fists (vertically) at arm's length. Each fist between local horizon and the sun is about 30 minutes. I may have really tiny hands.

    The easiest way to tell with your arms and hands, is look up your local sunset, try it out, get your hands calibrated.
     
  6. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    12,228
    Likes Received:
    10,063
    Location:
    East Freetown, MA
    Exactly! It’s like pace counting, you need to practice it a few times over different ground to get a good estimate for how much ground you cover with a stride.
     
  7. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7,470
    Likes Received:
    10,156
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    I do this in the mountains a lot. It won't tell me when the sunset will be in the mountains, but it tells me when the sun will dip below the peaks around me, which is when it will start getting cold and the winds will shift.
     
    Primordial, MrFixIt, rsnurkle and 5 others like this.
  8. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    12,681
    Likes Received:
    35,236
    Location:
    Bogart, GA
    My grand father taught me this trick when I was a boy. Was a great technique and helped me to not be late for supper!
     
    werewolf won and central joe like this.
  9. Primordial

    Primordial Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    518
    Location:
    Upper Great Lakes
    Been using that one for years (learned it from an old Ron Hood video if I remember right) and it works...having a flat horizon line like an ocean is not an issue because you can use time/hand the estimate to whatever or where your view of the sky ends...that's what's going to block the incoming light of the setting sun as it reaches that height and that's you'll start to loose your daylight. So if there is high a tree line, hill, mountain etc. to the west, when your "hand of light" reaches the top of it, that's when it will generally start to get dusky at your location.
     
    werewolf won likes this.

Share This Page