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I'm writing a medieval/post apocalypse world stricken with horrible dust storms that last days or weeks at a time. Would it be possible, using medieval technology, to:

  1. protect yourself from such dust storms so you could travel without choking to death, or being buried in sand?

  2. navigate in such a storm so you don't get hopelessly lost (assuming you know where you are going when you set out)?

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    $\begingroup$ "Knight" as in "someone wearing armor and riding on a horse even when not in battle"? Because I don't think that's how knights worked. Anyway... if this is their environment, they've developed goggles and filters (like in the book "Dune"). As for navigation, I think most desert dwellers just hunker down and wait for it to pass. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 11 '17 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Medieval or post-apocalyptic? (They're quite different.) $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 11 '17 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ There were roads in the medieval (aka Western Europe from the 5th to the 15th century) era. A better question who be about what Bedouins do during sand storms. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 11 '17 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ Echo RonJohn - if you replace 'knight' with 'Bedouin' or 'Mamluk', then you already have a direct comparison to history for your question (they adapted). Another historical source would be the Mali (most famous under Musa I) and the people of Timbuktu. They survived and navigated during these times just fine. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth May 11 '17 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ The caked dust on the raiders will immediately identify them to all their neighbors as raiders (nobody legitimate travels during dust!), and they will be promptly sold out for the reward and hanged. $\endgroup$ – user535733 May 11 '17 at 21:13
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It seems to me that their only chance to navigate would be a magnetic compass (which is easy to make so long as you actually know about magnetism).

Also, if the storms come from a predictable direction, you might be able to travel down-storm. Up-storm would probably be pretty difficult. You can also try to keep the wind on your left or right side but be aware that you would likely be walking a diagonal.

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    $\begingroup$ Consider adding a quick note that compasses must be used carefully in the vicinity of ferrous metals...like that suit of armor, or that big steel sword. An armored knight cannot use a compass without unarmored assistance. $\endgroup$ – user535733 May 11 '17 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ Don't dust storms also produce quite some static electricity with the friction the collisions of particulates induce which interferes with the earth magnetic field a compass relies on? (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_storm ) $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae May 12 '17 at 8:56

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