Monday, September 12, 2016

Some good land navigation info

I just came off of a three day Reserve Drill weekend where I had to conduct a land navigation course for the Company.  All things considered it went pretty well.  Like virtually everything else, the only way to get good at land nav is to actually go out and do it.  In order to instruct my Soldiers I showed them these videos prior to the actual course, and it seemed to provide an good enough refresher that we did not have to wrangle any lost lambs.

Understanding how to navigate without a GPS and having the maps to do it will be a huge benefit to any group in a grid down situation.  So it got me thinking that you may also benefit from the knowledge and will need to take advantage of it while it is readily available.

Here is an explanation of how to use an eight digit grid and plot it on the map.

Here are some good tips when you are out in the field:

Before you plot, verify you have the correct scale on the protractor and you have the right side up.  Don't laugh, I had to correct Soldiers doing this very thing.  A little information can be dangerous.

You can find several excellent Sergeant produced power point presentations online with a simple google search.  The Art of Manliness offers this quick rundown to using a military map, protractor, and compass.  If you have any questions, let me know and I will answer them to the best of my ability at this remove.  Plotting your point correctly is half the battle and getting the correct distance and pacing is the other.  Plot twice and take your time and you will be half way there.

Most of us do not have the benefit of a ready pool of experience when it come to this kind of skill set, so I would recommend another quick Google search for orienteering groups in your area.  Oh, and if you want a challenge, try your hand at urban land navigation.  And what if you really get good, and you feel the need to separate the men from the boys?  Go do it at night.


Anonymous said...

Sources for maps?

KBCraig said...

If only we could get DMA MGRS maps for civilian use, instead of craptastic USGS degree-based maps. :/

Anonymous said...

Having never been in the military but having a huge interest in land navigation, I learned a great deal from this Army publication In upstate NY we have tons of hiking trails through state park areas like Harriman, Shunemunk mountain, Appalachian Trail, and the list goes on and on. I hike some using topographic maps and a compass. Of course being on the trail makes it easy but it's good practice anyway for learning the basics of locating exactly where you are on the map, what direction you're heading and so forth. Idiots do get lost on some of these trails occasionally, like the Hasidic teens lost on Bear Mountain two weeks ago. This isn't exactly Alaska, so how anyone can get lost here is beyond me, but it does happen. Another site I've found is this one that will make a topo map of the A.O. you need

Eddy Matthews said...

Great post! Thanks to anon for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Boy Scouts 101.

Anonymous said...

Here is a source

DTG said... for custom maps in the scale you want/need.

B-4 said...

Being able to Land nav at night is a skill set that has many life sustaining advantages. The guy in the first video made a huge mistake/s referencing pace count. Everyone has two different pace counts, one for flat land, an one for rough terrain. I don't know how tall that guy was but NO ONE has a pace count in the 60's unless they are over 11-12 foot tall. The average for a 6 foot man carrying a pack an weapon is 105-120 (+ -) on flat, an it's not uncommon for that same man to be in the 150-170's over rough ground. I stopped watching right there. There are many ways to use a compass to get on target much faster. Land Nav is a never ending learning experience, and you can get 50,000/1 maps for any A/O on this rock. B-4

Anonymous said...

California Has Moved So Far Left They Might as Well Hope An Earthquake Does Break Them Away From The US

On their November 2016 ballot is the following proposition known as California Proposition 63, Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban (2016)

More detailed information can be found at Ballotpedia. However, here is the gist of the mess:

What would Proposition 63 do?
Proposition 63 would prohibit the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and would require most individuals to pass a background check and obtain authorization from the California Department of Justice to purchase ammunition.

Ballot summary:
1-Requires individuals to pass a background check and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition.
2-Prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, and requires their disposal, as specified.
3-Requires most ammunition sales be made through licensed ammunition vendors and reported to Department of Justice.
4-Requires lost or stolen firearms and ammunition be reported to law enforcement.
5-Prohibits persons convicted of stealing a firearm from possessing firearms.
6-Establishes new procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession.
7-Requires Department of Justice to provide information about prohibited persons to federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Ed said...

Alternatively, if you are male and 11 years old, you could join a Boy Scout Troop and do this:

The 84 page pamphlet for the Orienteering Merit Badge is available as a .pdf file for downloading.