Capturing Wind Direction with a Kestrel Applied Ballistics (Or Any Wind Meter)

DocUSMCRetired

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It is not uncommon to answer the question of how to properly capture the wind, or to even see someone doing it incorrectly. So to address this, here is the correct way to capture wind with a wind meter when you have no environmental aids. Important note, you can use your environment to help with this. Looking for flags, or dropping grass can help point you in the right direction. Also the best, and easiest way is using the Wind Vane Mount. However if you are doing this by hand, use the following as your guide.

Step 1 find the winds general direction.

Step 2 Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees (like when you calibrate the compass), so that the wind is impacting the side and not the back of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3 Fine tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). It might be impossible to get the impeller to come to a complete stop, so finding the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller is the next best option.

Step 4 Turn the back of the Kestrel in to direction the wind is coming from, press the capture button, and capture your wind speed.

Never Point The Kestrel's Back In To The Wind Until You See the Highest Wind Speed To Capture Wind Direction, This Is the Incorrect Method For Finding Wind Direction.

Wind_Speed_Proper.jpg
 
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Timber338

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Never Point The Kestrel's Back In To The Wind Until You See the Highest Wind Speed To Capture Wind Direction, This Is the Incorrect Method For Finding Wind Direction.

Good info, thanks for passing along. Can you explain whats going wrong when you get a wind reading like you describe above? Are you giving the impeller more time to spin up?

When I get a wind reading I certainly don't wait to see a maximum reading, I will hold the meter into the wind and constantly watch the reading change over time and get a feel for an average. See what the minimum and maximum is then figure out what the wind speed is doing the majority of the time, and then use that number in my computer and take the shot when the wind is in that zone.

I have no doubt you guys have spent a lot more time than I have figuring all of this out, so I'm just curious where the error is coming from in how I'm doing it. From reading your instructions I'm guessing I'll be generating wind speeds that are too high ??
 
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DocUSMCRetired

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This is just a matter of what is more accurate. By blocking the impeller using the body of the Kestrel their is less chance for error or mistake on the users part.

This is not to say that someone with experience cannot get the correct wind direction by doing it this way, it is just more likely to expose the user to error. So to eliminate that probability of error, this is the best method.

Of course the easiest, and most precise way is with a wind vane mount.
 

Timber338

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Ok, thanks for clarifying. I get it now that you're pointing out where user error will be introduced, and the best method in eliminating that user error. Not realistic that I'll carry a wind vane on my backpacking hunts, so I'll practice the method you describe and see how it works out. Thanks again.
 

DocUSMCRetired

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Texas
This is not the end all be all. Their are lots of other tricks you can use to find wind direction. Flags, grass, 550 cord, and other tools. This is simply how you find wind direction using only the Kestrel and no other tools.
 

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