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Compass training ideals needed

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by hubb928, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. hubb928

    hubb928 New Member

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    can anyone suggest training ideals or drills that will improve my navigation skills. Thank you in advance
     
  2. Mike Major

    Mike Major Active Member

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    Get a map and compass and get out into the dirt it's the best way. Take a GPS with you in case you get a little turned around. Practice resection, shooting and walking bearings, pace count, etc. I would say a good drill would be to layout a route on the map with a bunch of waypoints and then walking it using only compass bearings and pace count after which refer to your GPS track to see how close you got.

    Practice practice and then practice
     
    AJ ESCUDERO likes this.
  3. TinkyPete

    TinkyPete New Member

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    I was a map reading instructor in the British army, one of the best tips I can give you is to get a good quality map of you area and a compass and go to a hill side which has a good view and work out where exactly you are on the map and using your compass start to take bearings of you to locations and work out where you are, it will familiarise yourself with the area and get you understanding the map and what it represents on your area.

    Another good method is to get a map and plan a small route out on it using the compass to aid in working out grid references and distances ( a basic route card), write it down and leave a copy with a friend or family member let them know when you are going out. When you go out and walk the route you can see how the world view compares to the map view and also if you can you can practice walking on bearings and other skills as well. It can also be done in town and cities (you may look like a tourist but it works). do not forget the compass work and even if you are following a road get to know the bearing of the road and stop and look around to familiarise yourself with landmarks and features.

    It is a case of getting out there and practising but you can also read and understand before you get lost. :)

    If you do find yourself lost or uncertain of where you are STOP, take a break, think, look at your surroundings and map and use your compass to find yourself again.

    Here in the UK we are spoilt by having some of the best maps in the world made by the Ordnance Survey (methods now used by a lot of other countries including the USA) so for us Navigation is easy to pick up and use. I have used many maps for different countries and although they vary the skills of navigation and basic map reading never changes.


    There are some great assets out there for basic map and compass work.

    Here is a link to the easiest of the Silva 123 system which also has a 1 page pdf in it.

    There are a lot of basic books on navigation as well, as listed below are some of the best:

    Map reading by Robert B Matkin

    Collins Ultimate Navigation manual by Lyle Brotherton

    Map reading: From the beginner to the advanced map reader by Ordnance Survey

    Cicerone guide Navigation: Techniques and Skills for Walkers (Cicerone Mini-guide): Using Your Map and Compass by Peter Hawkins

     
  4. Doug

    Doug Member

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    The Boy Scouts at one time had a packet that went with the orientation merit badge. It would give you the basics to using your compass and stepping off your distance. Also check with your State and National parks that are in your area.....some have an Orentation Course set up in the park for public use...here in Missouri we have 2 such parks...have not been to them but plan to go soon. I found them thru the app that they have for the parks in Missouri
     
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  5. goainsmd

    goainsmd Member

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    Location:
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    A good way to practice is to take your GPS with you. Plot you location on a map by taking your back azimuth from two know points and then verify you location with your GPS. This will also demonstrate the error that is created by the type of protractor and the width of the lines that you are plotting on the map. It will also help insure that you are using the proper map declination.
     
  6. South Nation Survival

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    Get a map of your area(or any area you can get to in order to do this exercise). Find a start point and several other locations of interest. Figure out their approximate compass positions from eachother in some sort of order(or no order if you want it to be harder).
    Then go out and try to go from point to point using the compass, but no map. Increase the distance and lack of familiarity to the area to increase difficulty.

    Another great way to become capable with navigation is Orienteering. Here at SNS we have one member who is a two-year running 1st place regional champion, who had known nothing about Orienteering or land navigation prior to trying the sport. 2 years later, he is a seasoned expert with a map and compass. By joining an orienteering club, you will have chances to train as well as compete in unfamiliar environments.
     
  7. DaDude

    DaDude Member

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    I have long lamented that my biggest area of need was probably in 'land navigation'....I put far too much faith in my ability to know true north and never spent enough time truly learning navigation and map reading. I've identified that as a weakness and put it foremost on my list of things to address here in 2017. I appreciate the pointers and suggestions you've all share and look forward to anyone else offering good advise to this complete novice in the work of 'navigation'
     
  8. Kernix

    Kernix Member

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    Definitely find a local orienteering club and enter some events. Can't remember how much it costs, but you ebd up getting to keep the map, and the courses aren't that long. I got really into it and started running the courses, bought a thumb compass and was running to get in shape until I hurt my knee. Start out on the Yellow courses (Beginner, skip White), then move onto the intermediate Orange and Green courses - assuming that ither US orienteering clubs use the same color schemes - Red & Blue are advanced.
     
  9. Whirlibird

    Whirlibird Well-Known Member

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    Can't recommend the Boy Scouts program enough.

    I don't agree with everything else that they are doing, but they still teach map and compass second to none outside the military.
    If you like, I'll dig around and see what I still have, ex Scoutmaster.
     
  10. martybecker

    martybecker Active Member

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    If you have an REI store nearby, they offer in-store and outdoor map/compass classes.
     
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