Posted on January 15 2019
Why should a watch be EDC when you can tell the time with your cell phone? Dumb question for a prepper, but very few of us wear them... Here's why not wearing a watch is dumber than you may think.
For thousands of years, all the way back to the Sumerians, devices have been used to measure and keep track of time for one simple reason: SURVIVAL.
Eight ways a wristwatch can save your life.
1) Telling Distance. Like mariners of old, you can determine distance of travel with a watch. Figuring that the average person moves at 3.1 miles per hour it’s easy to calculate how far you’ve walked, especially taking terrain, fatigue, and load into account. Knowing the distance you have covered on foot is an essential part of navigation as well as knowing how much further you need to travel to reach your destination.
2) Time of day. This may seem obvious, but it’s not. Being clear on the time will tell you:
- When to start looking for camp so that you are not bumbling around in the dark.
- When to break camp so that you have full use of daylight.
- How long till the sun comes up for warmth
- When to seek cover from the noon sun.
3) Time of night. Knowing the time of night is even more crucial and less obvious:
- How long you have been asleep.
- When you will change guard duty.
- When is the best time to attack (right before dawn.)
4) To determine direction. Using a simple method you can tell the approximate cardinal directions; north, south, east and west. https://www.wikihow.com/Use-an-Analog-Watch-as-a-Compass
5) As a Light. it may not be much light but in a pinch the light on a watch will work as a dim flashlight if looking for something in your tent or shelter.
6) As a Signal Device. Two ways that a watch can be used as a signal device: the stainless steel backside can act as a small signal mirror. The light can be used to signal other members of you party. We would often signal one other in the military with our watches after crossing danger areas.
7) Fire Tinder. Most watches have a synthetic watch band now days and cutting a small amount of the band can provide a hot-burning piece of tinder.
8) Synchronization. Without watches, it’s almost impossible to coordinate movement with members of your party. “We will arrive at such and such place at this time. Be there!” In 1880, the British were the first to use watches to synchronize troop movements and to coordinate artillery strikes. It turned out to be a major combat advantage.
Don’t fall victim to the snowflake habit of not wearing a wristwatch. It should absolutely be part of your EDC, and you should definitely keep simple wristwatches in your long-term preparations.