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Thread: Night "Compass" Navigation.....Who's practicing....???

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    Default Night "Compass" Navigation.....Who's practicing....???

    Just sitting here waiting for dark to head up the mountain and practice night navigation with a compass, and remembering when I was doing compass navigation at night under water for some advanced dive certification. (I botched that maneuver over and over and over.).


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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    Ug, night land nav.

    Did I mention Ug?

    I was pre GPS recon guy. I've had me complete and total fill of walking azimuths at night.
    I had a compass, but without a map, it's just a cool toy to show you where oceans and ice are.

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    I failed..............I gave myself a F- (I'll try again Thursday night).

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    Hall Monitor Pal334's Avatar
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    You had to bring back nightmares. Night land nav is almost an art form. I never completely got it right. For now, I think I will sit tight after dark if at all possible.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    The only time I was ever truly, hopelessly lost was at night under an overcast sky in the woods. No reference points, pitch black and enough debris on the ground to force you to change direction every couple of steps. No thanks. I don't practice it. If you got an F- that's pretty good in my book. But I'll give you an A for even practicing it.
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    Senior Member Old GI's Avatar
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    As a pre-GPS SF guy, I did a lot of night land nav training (a lot meaning until I got it right and was comfortable; no easy feat). I'm with Winter, I now find easier ways to do those things. SD: when I taught PADI Advanced Diver courses, it was heavy on night nav and included dive unique ways to cheat, i.e. if you swim to a point on an azimuth, cheat slightly to the left or right and, if you miss the target, you'll know which way, Good luck, SD.
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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    That's the best piece of night land nav advice the Army gives out Old GI. To add to that, the side to cheat on is the uphill side of the point you're heading to.
    I had a compass, but without a map, it's just a cool toy to show you where oceans and ice are.

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    funny you should ask.... i am at the search center right now putting on a course for the rookies, evening course one direction, dark, reciprical bearing, no lights at all, so far most of the rookies are back
    always be prepared-prepare all ways
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    Wilderness Guide pgvoutdoors's Avatar
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    I first learned night nav while in the Marines. We did plenty of night movements that required solid navigation skills. Tough stuff to master and it can be a little dangerous too. Those skills are a must for any outdoorsman.
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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    want to know fear? the ranger instructors would hand you a pine needle and say point to where you are at with that.......this is a skill that i am trying hard to master both lat and long and utm, knowing everything about the map and also how to use both map and compass real time and all the little tricks that go along with... hopefully i live long enough to learn a coulpe of things to pass along to my team
    always be prepared-prepare all ways
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    Junior Member bushrat82's Avatar
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    Land nav is one of those "perishable skills". Obtaining an azimuth and staying on course isn't too hard (remember to figure declination so your grid to magnetic conversion is correct..) Terrain association is the hard part for most folks, like wareagle69 said. That only comes with good practice, although having a good topo map sheet for the area you live in can help because you learn to recognize features and reference points on the map that are already familiar to you. Do this and become very familiar with your neighborhood on a mapsheet and then it will be easier to terrain associate in less familiar surroundings. Nice thing about using USGS 1:24,000 scale maps from REI and the like is that terrain association is a bit easier with those than it is using a 1:50,000 military map.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    There are a lot of free topo sites on the internet that will get you just about any scale you want. That, along with Google Earth and you have both the topo and the reference points that you can overlay before ever leaving the house. Sure makes it nice.
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