Basic navigation

Chat about surviving, preventing, and being prepared for emergencies in the Outdoors
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Bonehead
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Bonehead » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:09 am

Lima Lima mike foxtrot, that’s grunt speak for lost like a mother......
Learn to trust that compass.


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Dpierce72
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Dpierce72 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:22 am

I used to do a lot of wilderness racing relying only on map compass to navigate lots of miles over a 24 hour period. This file/link below is something I've often referred people to as they are starting out (and if you do a quick google/bing search of "navigating with a map and compass" you'll find more than you can review):

- http://joellambert.com/wp-content/uploa ... ompass.pdf

As for truly navigating (specific point to specific waypoint), you need a compass with magnifying lens, mirror, declination scale, straight edge etc. and 7.5min (1:24k) topo map to accompany. Something like the Suunto MC-2G. I'm personally a Suunto fan (because that's what I've always used), but there are other good compasses ...Silva also comes to mind.

However, I think this is probably overkill to use simply as a backup. You can get a much cheaper clipper unit or wrist compass that would easily do the job in helping you navigate a direction w/out the need to hit a very precise waypoint. Also, I doubt many folks are out w/7.5 min maps (perhaps the northwoods/bigwoods hunters) but I could be wrong.

I think you did a good job, but since you asked for some references wanted to add my $.02 based on my experiences.
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Wild Bill Army Scout
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Wild Bill Army Scout » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:22 am

isitseasonyet?: Some great information has been provided...Oddly enough, I have been a navigator for 26 years. Land Navigation and Map Reading are two different skill sets, which actually compliment one another. The best navigators can move on the ground without a compass or GPS by simply plotting their position on a paper map by associating their surroundings to the terrain features on a map. Based on the feedback provided by some of the guys on this thread, they are fully capable of doing so...However, they did not learn overnight.

For "Basic Navigation" without a map, take a look at your direction of travel when you leave your vehicle (on your compass). You would obviously travel the opposite direction to get back. Next, you will need to know YOUR pace count to figure out your distance traveled. To figure out your pace count: Use a laser range finder on flat ground and lase an object at 100 yards. Stare at that object and walk toward it, counting each time your left foot hits the ground. Do this about three times to figure out an accurate pace count (the average pace count is 55 to 60). Once you know your pace count, you will be able to figure out how far you have traveled from your vehicle. This is where the reference of "Ranger Beads" came from by another member. As you move from your vehicle to your hunting spot, slide a bead along the string, each time you hit your 100 yard pace count. If you have slid 6 beads along the string, heading South (180 Degrees), you know that you are 600 yards South of your vehicle. To get back in the dark, head north (360 Degrees), until you slide the 6 beads back down your string. The beads are very useful, because you sometimes lose track of how many times you hit your pace count along a route (the beads don't lie). You can make and use "Ranger Beads" pretty cheap, reference the link below. Keep in mind, you will take more steps in the dark than you will during daylight; so if you fall short of your vehicle in the dark, mark that position and continue on your path. Also, keep in mind that your vehicle is parked along a road. We call the road a "Back Stop." Keep moving along your direction of travel until you identify your vehicle or the "Back Stop." I hope this helps with "Basic Navigation." Don't get lost and as Brother "Bonehead" stated: "Trust your compass."

As for a good compass: "M1950 Lensatic Compass." DO NOT purchase a cheap WalMart compass...

REFERENCE: Ranger Beads: https://lifehacker.com/make-and-use-ran ... a-30801549
"A hunt based only on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be ... time to commune with your soul as you share the outdoors with the birds, animals, and fish that live there." - Fred Bear
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freezeAR
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby freezeAR » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:13 am

I try to always have a compass on me. Sometimes I have a paper map sometimes not. One refuge I hunt is 5 miles by 6 miles. Worst comes to worst I know what cardinal direction the river and road are. I was hunting some public last year and used my kayak to access. When I was packing up my flashlight started flickering and went out. I didn't have a back up so I used my phone. While I was making my way to my kayak my phone died. I bounced off every cypress tree in that slough. My compass helped. I knew the northern most bend in the slough was close to the road so I found it fairly easily. I use a Suunto KB-20.
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Horizontal Hunter
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Horizontal Hunter » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:19 am

One thing worth doing is to build in a small offset on the return trip. That way you know which way to go to get to the vehicle once you hit the road in the dark.

In the dark you may or may not recognize the portion of the road you are on when you come out of the woods. Knowing which way to go to get to the car is priceless.

Bob
Vegetarian: vejiˈte(ə)rēən/noun: old Indian word for lousy hunter. :o

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stash59
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby stash59 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:19 am

Been watching some YouTube stuff on ranger beads/pace counting. Interesting stuff. If all I was doing was going from point A to B to C. I think it would work well. But if I'm scouting or hunting. I'd probably forget all about counting steps. Get too involved with the sign! Other thing is in the mountains. I'd have to write an entire book of notes/bearings. Because it's hard to see very far often times. And I rarely go straight up or even downhill.
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Wild Bill Army Scout
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Wild Bill Army Scout » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:28 am

stash59: What you say is true. Eventually, a navigator can walk freely in the deer woods and put his finger on the map to point out his location within 100m or less; this comes with experience. However, to move through the deer woods, from point A to Point B, in complete darkness (reverse cycle training), the navigator requires "Distance and Direction." If you do not know the "Distance and Direction," before you start, it will make it extremely difficult to get to your destination in periods of darkness. Pace count (Distance) and Azimuth (Direction) enables a Novice Navigator with the ability to move within 20 meters of a destination, at a distance of up to 2 kilometers. I truly cannot think of another Basic Navigation technique to get someone back to the parking lot...Then again, the hunter should be able to simply read distance off the GPS from the parking lot to the treestand, before the GPS died. Then he would only have to rely on his pace count from the stand to the parking lot in the dark. However, the hunter still needs to know what his pace count is to navigate the distance in the dark, without his GPS.
"A hunt based only on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be ... time to commune with your soul as you share the outdoors with the birds, animals, and fish that live there." - Fred Bear
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Marshbuster89 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:40 am

I rely on my phone gps a lot because it is so convenient, however, I have a tendency to drop things in water so I never rely solely on that in a new area.

Cattails I’ll usually break some stalks at different trail intersections or have used flagging tape (that I take down on my way back out). Always have a compass in my bino harness. I’ll make fake rubs up in the hardwoods to know where the trail/truck is.
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muddy
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby muddy » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:52 am

Good thread resurrected.

I always have an "old school" compass in my pack for an emergency. Fortunately I have, what I feel, is a very good internal compass and can usually figure out where I need to go at most any given time. My dad would always quiz me "where's the truck" when we were out hunting and I guess that's always made me keep aware of my surroundings.

The one time I got good and scared lost was when my wife and i were hiking in Yellowstone. We left on a hike and if it weren't for some of my basic knowledge on reading terrain/sun position/etc I am fairly confident we'd have spent the night with the skeeters and grizz! Fortunately the "3 hour tour turned 7 hour" ended with us making it back to the parking area before it got fully dark.
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Re: Basic navigation

Unread postby Cottonmouthcity » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:22 pm

Cammenga miltary compasses are reliable. I have done a few courses with some long range land nav. The number one thing that helps me is knowing my pace count (steps and average time it takes you to cover 100 meters) and terrain association. If using a paper map there is a possibilty it is a 20 year old map, that means new roads have been put in place, or that thin blue line on a map from 20 years ago is now a large swamp damned up by beavers. This is where know your pace count and how far you have travelled comes i to play. Making a plan works for me.

Here is an example of a plan I used at a land nav course :
1) walk 700 meters at an azimuth of 125 until creek crossing
2) handrail creek for 300 meters generally a 160 deg azimuth
3) cross road and walk 400 meters at a 130 degree azimuth

Also learn how to read a protractor if needed, and also know the azimith difference based on your map, you will usually need to either add or subtract(should be listed on the map).
Look sharp, act sharp, and be sharp, but don't be an idiot and cut yourself.


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