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Just curious if anyone has some advice. Looks like in a bit I"m going to be going to a couple land nav courses and having to test out on a scale I'm unfamiliar with. So anyone got some good ideas for how to practice?

I'm thinking like books that detail some land nav training/testing logically. I'm thinking of getting a GPS, create a course about 12 miles long with 6 legs. follow it flip up the GPS and see how close I came short of that I have no cool ideas and could really use some.
 

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Whose teaching the class?

Land navigation as taught is typically learning to read a topographical map and matching what is depicted symbolically on the map to what is on the ground. There are two fundamental tools: a magnetic compass (because in a pinch you can make one) and a small plastic overlay (that you can also make from a straight piece of paper or a stick). GPS receivers are a gimmick that takes most of the fun out of the exercise.

Real true navigation requires the aforementioned tools and related reading techniques along with a measure of simple common sense. Most obvious is the need to avoid anything that might kill you-steep cliff, deep fast moving water. Also included in a class should be something of route development. It's often easier and faster to 'stay at altitude' and follow a contour around a hill or gully than it is to climb up or down only to reverse the exercise on the other side; especially with a heavy load.

One obvious test or series of tests would be to embark on a Geocache hunt--sans GPS (at least leave it in your pocket). You want a long multi-cache problem or you will want to string several together. Use your overlay to plot the position of the cache, figure out where you want to start from and start hiking. Finding the cache will test both your land-nav skills and your powers of observation (those damn caches can be hidden in plain sight!).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Whose teaching the class?

Land navigation as taught is typically learning to read a topographical map and matching what is depicted symbolically on the map to what is on the ground. There are two fundamental tools: a magnetic compass (because in a pinch you can make one) and a small plastic overlay (that you can also make from a straight piece of paper or a stick). GPS receivers are a gimmick that takes most of the fun out of the exercise.

Real true navigation requires the aforementioned tools and related reading techniques along with a measure of simple common sense. Most obvious is the need to avoid anything that might kill you-steep cliff, deep fast moving water. Also included in a class should be something of route development. It's often easier and faster to 'stay at altitude' and follow a contour around a hill or gully than it is to climb up or down only to reverse the exercise on the other side; especially with a heavy load.

One obvious test or series of tests would be to embark on a Geocache hunt--sans GPS (at least leave it in your pocket). You want a long multi-cache problem or you will want to string several together. Use your overlay to plot the position of the cache, figure out where you want to start from and start hiking. Finding the cache will test both your land-nav skills and your powers of observation (those damn caches can be hidden in plain sight!).
I've got the formal classes (boot camp, SOI, OCS) I volunteered for and failed to get into a couple land nav courses to help me get ready for this. but yeah the compass, map and triangle is how I do it I conceptually know how to work a map and so on, the idea you stated with geocaching with the gps not in use is pretty much what I was saying. I do like the geocaching idea seems a lot better for pass/fail finding things so its perfect thanks.
 

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Know your distances, how far you travel per every 100 natural steps, etc. Distance is what screws alot of people up and not being able to read a topo map with a compass.
 

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Land navigation isn't all that hard with a lot of practice. Pre GPS we had to do that everyday in CONUS, Vietnam & Germany. I got used to following by watching my terrain and following my location.

It's not perfect but it works.
 

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That's why you carry more :p
I suppose doing it just to have one more skill in the "Box of Baddasery Awesomness" that self sufficient people have isn't enough?
 

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I suppose doing it just to have one more skill in the "Box of Baddasery Awesomness" that self sufficient people have isn't enough?

Nice terminology, haha! Learning the basics is essential. But hey, my Garmin is pretty nice. Sounds like he somewhat has a grip on the basics
 

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3 letters... G.P.S. :D
If the SHTF do you think the GPS satellites will be up and operational? They are run by the government and they can turn them off whenever they want or they may be unable to operate at all. There is no replacing a topo map and a compass.....EVER. As long as you can vector two known points on a map you will always know where you are.
 

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Just curious if anyone has some advice. Looks like in a bit I"m going to be going to a couple land nav courses and having to test out on a scale I'm unfamiliar with. So anyone got some good ideas for how to practice?

I'm thinking like books that detail some land nav training/testing logically. I'm thinking of getting a GPS, create a course about 12 miles long with 6 legs. follow it flip up the GPS and see how close I came short of that I have no cool ideas and could really use some.
Didn't you get enough of that at TBS? Reading a map and terrain shouldn't be that easy to forget.

What course are you going to?
 

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If the SHTF do you think the GPS satellites will be up and operational? They are run by the government and they can turn them off whenever they want or they may be unable to operate at all. There is no replacing a topo map and a compass.....EVER. As long as you can vector two known points on a map you will always know where you are.

Please see my last post... Learning the basics is essential.

In a SHTF situation I'm using a map and compass, yes. In the states while training, I utilize both methods. Work smarter.... not harder. Train using both, and you'll be straight
 

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I don't think I'd need it in a SHTF scenario. I know my local terrain, and if things get so bad I have to travel cross country, I don't imagine it will matter a whole lot were I am going because it would all be guess work and luck at that point.

for travel and hiking adventures, I'll pay homage to the messages from above...and bring extra batteries.
 

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A GPS is nice, but it doesn't solve your problem of actually being able to do a land nav course.

Here's a suggestion.

Get a buddy, give him the GPS and have him walk around out in the hills and lay out a 6 point course. Make the way points no closer together than 600 meters and no farther apart than 1200m. At each location he uses the GPS to get a positive fix on the 8 digit grid coordinate and write them down. He should also place a small unobtrusive marker at that point. It should be something that can be seen from 20m away, but not 100m.

Now have him give you the grid coordinates in a random order on a piece of paper. Plot the positions, lay out a course and follow them. If you cannot find all the points in 3 hours, you failed.

Once you've passed that type of course a few times, have your buddy give you one coordinate and leave the next way point on the marker. That way you cannot follow the trail without finding the next marker. Once again, use a 3 hour time limit.

After that, maybe he could throw in a few decoy markers that are 100m too short, too long, left or right of the actual marker. Then you have to write down the number on the marker to pass. Use a 3 hour time limit and no more than one incorrect target to pass.

This is actually harder than it sounds, because if you start for the next marker from the wrong point, you soon run into error margins that virtually guarantee failure.

Once you can do that, you're good to go on almost any land nav course.
 

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Didn't you get enough of that at TBS? Reading a map and terrain shouldn't be that easy to forget.
If you have the good fortune to have easily identifiable land marks, that great, but in heavily wooded or featureless desert terrain, that's a whole different ball game.

I did my PLDC land nav course at Ft. Bliss. nothing but 20' tall sand dunes covered in thorns and no clear land marks to follow. It was all pace count and compass work. To get around the thorn covered dunes, you had to stop, turn 90 degrees to your heading, count the paces necessary to clear the dune, resume heading and continue original pace count. Once you were past the dune, turn 90 degrees (the opposite of the first course change) to your original heading, count down the paces from your course deviation to zero, resume original heading.

I did that 4-6 times every 1000m for each of my 6 legs. It's a wonder I ever passed.
 

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One of my favorite books is "Nature Is Your Guide: Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass" by Harold Gatty

It's probably not exactly what you're looking for to help you with your course, but it is full of valuable information.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
wow more responses I totally didn't expect that. so I didn't check just noticed it had more so I opened it.

yalls scale is totally off were talking 5-8clicks between points. No GPS cause theres no GPS according to the rules. Depending on the day there will be no ranger beads either. I take my watch off, use the clicks on the adjustment for it.:cool:

oh yeah thanks for bickering brought a laugh.

But the thing I'm doing as of now is geocaching when I get home with the gps on my back not being looked at until I get back to my car. therefore I can check my work later.
 
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