December 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm #38425AnonymousInactive
I went through all my end-of-the-world kit over the weekend in anticipation of some nice Christmas sales; and realized that I only had a couple of old boy scout compasses.
Luckily I have plenty of maps in various scales. Location Utah/Nevada/AZ/Wyoming/Idaho area.
. most of my family/friends/kids are not military trained and that I will be teaching them land navigation skills (Which I plan to study; as I have only very basic skills in this area- boy scout).
. we will not have GPS; which will either be turned off for civilian use or blasted out of the sky by the peace-loving Chicoms.
. that the magnetic declination may change dramatically in the next few years (ok, a bit tin foil, but there are theories that the poles are changing).
. that following roads to get from point A to point B might be too dangerous
1. What methodology would you follow; the imperial system or the metric system?
2. What standard would you follow; milspec UTM or the regular USGS maps
3. What two compasses would you buy for each extended family member (a primary one and then one to keep as spare in your pack)
4. Lensatic or Baseplate, Luminous or Tritium?
5. For tactical use, is it better to have illuminated compass; or just cover yourself with a poncho and shine a red or blue light on the compass?
In my internet searches I have found that modern Silva compasses that we can buy in the USA are Chinese junk. European Silvas are Finland. Suunto are Finland, Brunton are mostly Chinese with the high end being USA.
I have checked out a few threads via search; but wanted a more updated, tactical viewpoint from everyone. Remember, in this scenario; GPS is dead.December 19, 2016 at 11:04 am #38446DiznNCParticipant
OK I’ll play.
1) I like metric cuz I grew up humping in “klicks”, or kilometers.
2) UTM 1:25,000 with 1,000m grids (mytopo.com)
3) Suunto M3, 1:25,000 roamers preferred, Suunto wrist compass as back-up
4) Baseplate, luminous
5) Illum works fine. I navigate by the wrist compass and back that up with main compass at security halts. You can go full ranger school with the map check thing, but if you put your team in a tight 360, with you in the middle, you can sort things out with a small green LED microlight.
Max has written extensively about this. Check out the old threads.
It is extremely difficult to land nav and stay tactically sound at the same time. It takes practice. Land nav at night is pretty much dead reckoning, pace count, and time enroute.
Remember your plates. If you are running steel plates, it WILL effect the compass swing. Lower your rifle when taking a reading.
Use direct sightings (mag) from your day time recce if possible. These will be the most accurate. If not use the map (grid converted to mag).
Trust the compass. Night time nav will induce “vertigo”. You’ll swear you’re going the wrong way, especially cross-compartment/ lines of drift.
Use shorter legs. More rally points. Avoid long stretches of DR. Allow more time in route.
You can’t see shit at night sometimes (duh). You will run into stuff, trip into holes, etc. Branches, rocks, tree roots, not to mention barbed wire, etc. Stay calm. Drive on.
If you fuck up, don’t panic. Retrace to your last known point, or at least some known point. Re-calculate and drive on. Do not spend half the night wondering around because your pride won’t let you admit to your team that you fucked up.
On longer patrols the illum will need to be fired back up. Shine a small light directly onto compass face for a few minutes at a security halt. Put it under you boonie hat while your team sets security.
Practice, practice, practice.
CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, RiflemanDecember 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm #38471AnonymousInactive
It used to be small red light…then blue light…now green light? Very Christmas. Why green?
I am thinking blue is bad due to maps having blue as water.December 19, 2016 at 1:24 pm #38475MaxKeymaster
Red makes contours invisible. Green makes woods. Blue is a pretty cool new color…does not obscure blood like red does, beloved by medics.
In all honesty, i used to use a mini maglite, white light, with the lens obscured by electrical tape so it is only a tiny hole. Cup that in your hand with the map on the ground and you are good to go
If you are able to navigate with terrain association, a good bit of ‘map memory’ is useful. Know what the terrain does on your leg, sight your bearing onto the horizon, and check off features as you walk. Back up with pace count (someone else). Walking uphill, down, crossing creek, uphill, ridge, downhill, creek….etc. I have a map reading post up somewhere on this…..December 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm #38477MaxKeymaster
Note: my old school white light methid…or any light….that was back before we expected the enemy to have NODs. If they do, your tiny glimmer of light can be massive on NODs. So terrain/vegetation masking when you do it.December 20, 2016 at 9:39 am #38540DiznNCParticipant
I like green cuz it’s more NV compatible? At least that’s why I think the little pilot’s finger lights were green.
CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, RiflemanDecember 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm #38560AnonymousInactive
I took out one of my maps last night and tried it with the red and then blue light. What a difference. The red washed out the contour lines while the blue really highlighted them. I will have to find a green light and try it.December 20, 2016 at 5:28 pm #38565zeerfParticipant
I had not heard of the blue light but will give that a try also.December 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #38606Virgil KaneParticipant
Max mentioned terrain association. This is an important skill. Learn to read the contours on the map and relate them to your surroundings. I’m fine with a compass, but I suck at pace counting, due to lack of practice, but I can find myself on a quad map using terrain association, due to years of practice in my work.
You should be able to orient your map to near north without a compass.
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March 2018 DCHDecember 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm #38655tangoParticipant
^That post and other corresponding advice from Diz and First Sergeant lead me to learn and practice this own my own a few times. It’s not difficult stuff, and fairly easy to get comfortable with, but you definitely need to practice to fully understand and learn a few tricks. See if there is an Orienteering Course near you that you can practice on. Believe it or not, people actually do this for fun and have clubs dedicated to geocaching and such.
The Suunto M-9 wrist compass is great, as Diz has also advised above. Do not get the smaller button sized ones. Use it while you’re walking to check your bearing, on halts, or just a quick reference without whipping your compass and map out. Just make sure you replace the terrible velcro band that comes on it. It does glow in the dark – but just the right amount. On CP this year it was very beneficial to be able to reference in the dark on movements while not being so bright that it attracted any extra attention. If you are worried about that just slide your sleeve over it when not referencing.
+1 for blue light. If you really want to see why either get a headlamp that comes with all 3 filters or get a couple of those keychain lights and try looking at different maps in the dark. Raw satellite maps are the worst.
After practicing Land Nav a couple times my experience has been that pace count quickly goes out the window. As soon as you encounter a hill it goes to hell. Counting steps while maintaining tactical awareness is like adding another ball to juggle while riding a unicycle on a balance beam – while also huffing and puffing from climbing said hill. In certain environments pace count definitely has validity, especially if you can pass that task on to a friend, but not for mountainous terrain.
Good maps, terrain association (handrailing, offsetting, contouring, etc.), landmarks, trust in your compass, and practice!
Weak Men can't be virtuous. - JBP
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