March 27, 2015 Comments (1) Adventure, Backpacking, Camping & Hiking, Travel Hacks, Travel Tips

Travel Hacks Friday – Clocking In

travel hacks

Welcome to another travel hacks Friday.

As part of a new series, every Friday, we will be introducing new travel hacks for outdoor and urban adventures. We will scour the web for the best and most practical hacks, as well as dig into our reserves and share our own awesome moments of ingenuity!


For our travel Hack #2, we bring you a particularly useful backcountry survival skill introduced to us by the guys and gals over at Trekeffect, the trip planning specialist.

Hiking in the backcountry for the most part is a daytime activity, with the inherent dangers of the wild increasing exponentially when visibility falters and night falls. An errant twig or just a simple misstep can stop you in your tracks putting you down for the count, not to mention the critters that might also be roaming around.  Fortunately, this little trick will keep you hiking, doesn’t cost a dime, and will rocket your machismo factor to new heights (you too ladies!). You’ll channel Bear Grylls himself as you use the sun, 4 fingers, and the alignment of the planets to approximate how much daylight you have left. Ok, maybe not so much the alignment of the planets, but you’ll still be able to impress your friends with your innate ability to anticipate when to stop hiking and bed down for the night.

How it works is that by using your fingers set against the skyline, you’ll be able to estimate how long the sun will take to set beneath the horizon. Sounds like magic doesn’t it? Who knew that our fingers could do more than grasp beer bottles and sign our names!

Take your fingers (excluding the thumb) and place it between the space between the sun and horizon. The horizon is the line where the sky and surface meet. Each finger represents 15 minutes with one hand totaling a full hour. Add up all four fingers, and voila – that’s how much time you have left. For greater distances between horizon and the sun, stack your hands and you can predict past an hour.

Popular Travel Hack: Doggy Style

Here’s a diagram for more clarity:

image Courtesy of Trekeffect

image Courtesy of Trekeffect

You may be tempted to think your watch or your GPS enabled smartphone will suffice, but both can only tell the time, and not when the sun will actually set. Keep in mind that the hack is only an approximate, so build in a buffer to give you more time to set up camp

Now throw away your watch and show off your wilderness skills! Just kidding, keep your watch.


What are your favorite travel hacks?


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I'm an aspiring scuba diver, novice spelunker and avid adventurer.I have a penchant for always getting lost with an established track record for choosing the worst places to eat. With a healthy aversion to staying in one place for too long, I am the ceaseless wanderer and explorer. I recently traded in the suit for a backpack, and am now pursuing to live a life of sustained travel. I travel to learn, I travel to live and I travel in search of adventure.
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One Response to Travel Hacks Friday – Clocking In

  1. Marjo says:

    That’s so cool! I didn’t know that you could tell time that way. I’m going to try it later on to see if I can get the time right. Thanks for the tip.
    Marjo recently posted…Gear Review: Exped Air Pillow ReviewMy Profile

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