Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

How to Find Your Way Using Horse Dung

How to Navigate Using Horse Dung

For thousands of years humans have been riding horses (possibly as much as 5,500 years).

This of course means that horse tracks and dung can be used to get a sense of the journeys of those who passed by recently. From that we can build a picture of likely direction of settlements.

But we can also navigate by using dung as a compass.

The sun dries the southern side faster than the northern side, leading to colour and texture differences.

The longer the dung remains out in the open, the greater the asymmetry. In the video above the dung is fairly fresh, a couple of days old maximum.

But in these pictures below, of the same dung, we can see how this progresses and the differences become more pronounced.

Horse dung viewed from the south side
The same dung viewed at the same time from the north side