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2/5/2016 10:19 PM
 
Between volunteering at the Sniper Adventure Challenge and several discussions with folks both here on the forums and at the HPG gathering's I've attended has made me realize I need to up my land nav toolbox, both the software and hardware sides. I'm pretty good at reading terrain and even when I get lost I'm pretty good at finding my way back. But I'd rather not only relay on dumb luck to find my way forever! What are some good reference materials to read up on, books, websites etc to beef up the "software". Also what would be considered some recommended physical tools to get to aid in map reading etc... I've got a decent compass, but there's been a few times I've gotten some strange readings, possibly from geological oddities but it's happened in different places so hard to say. As I've learned more about the UTM grid  layout it makes a lot of sense, so tools aimed at that would be preferred. But there's also something to be said for versatility too. 

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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2/5/2016 10:23 PM
 
I can read topo maps and map symbols too. So tools and info more focused on learning the UTM grid would be my primary focus.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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2/5/2016 10:28 PM
 
A GI lensatic if you'll be doing much at night.  All others pale for that.  A clear plastic baseplate.  I've always used a Silva Ranger but there are others.  Declination adjustment is nice, until you forget about it, which is the reverse of using a lensatic and forgetting to factor for it.  A watch with an altimeter function is nice to have.  If you are ground oriented while moving that will allow to get a fairly close fix on your position quickly.  If you are on a marked trail it will pinpoint it.  This is much faster to use than waiting for a GPS and I've sat on a beach and looked at a GPS that told me that I was at 400ft altitude.  They don't pinpoint altitude that well on occasion.  Many like box/optical compasses like the KB14 and KB20
 
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2/6/2016 5:32 AM
 
I've heard good things about this booK:
http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Navigation-Manual-Lyle-Brotherton/dp/0007424604

 
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2/6/2016 6:05 AM
 

I teach the navigation block in my current job to folks going to OCONUS postings, many of whom will end up traipsing around in austere environments for their tasks. Although we teach them GPS, I always tell them that the GPS should only confirm what they should already know and that it's best to not let machines do your thinking for you. 

We preach a "Stay Found" principle, of always maintaining continual location awareness using the map, compass, azimuth, pace count, and terrain / landmark association all in concert.  If you continually maintain locational awareness, it's much easier to stay on track, and the GPS can then be used to confirm.  Of course, they are also very useful for marking significant waypoints, creating routes with mulitple legs, and help with other techniques like intentional off-sets and route timing.  As long as the batteries are working and you've got a patch of "Y-sky", a GPS unit will always inform you of where you are physically located. That said, I still rely mainly on map, compass, pace count, and terrain association. I teach Geo Coordinates (Lat/Long) and GRG (Grid Reference Guide) methods mostly now, but we also teach MGRS (same as US National Grid) from time to time, when applicable.

We used to issue Silvas, but I've noticed many of them develop bubbles kind of quickly...QC problems. Now we issue Suunto M-3 Global models. They are very good compasses and work anywhere in the world, day or night. The M-2G is the flip top model. I tell students not to mess with adjusting the declination on the compass, but instead do the math.  We also teach our students a technique to use their compass like a protractor and orient their grid map to magnetic north in order to have it correspond to visible landmarks for development of the navigation "picture" in front of them.  Lately, I've been trying out a Brunton Global compass...the TruArc 15 model.  It's very accurate, but the verdict is still out as to whether I will consider it my primary.  It was advertised as night time usable, but that was just BS.  I've come up with a fix for using it at night, so otherwise it has been a pretty good compass, so far.  I still need to test it overseas.

Here are a couple good sources for UTM and Geo Coord tools I have that help:
  

http://www.brooks-range.com/All-in-On.......this is a really good template tool for UTMs.

https://www.maptools.com/products/all....I bought a whole pack that includes all of the Lat/Long scales for just about any scale map I end up using.



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2/7/2016 5:08 PM
 
CollinAshmore wrote:
I've heard good things about this booK:
http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Navigation-Manual-Lyle-Brotherton/dp/0007424604

 

If you are ever going to buy one Nav Handbook then the above manual is the one!  Awesome!

 
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2/7/2016 11:27 PM
 
Thanks for the advice everyone! I've started filling the old amazon cart up already. Are there any courses that folks would recommend, preferably in the rocky mountain region? Alpen I'd love to just tag along through one of your courses you put on, but I'm guessing as a civilian that's not really a possibility. I've heard rumors SOLKOA might start doing some training available to the civilian market but haven't seen anything on their website about it.

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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2/8/2016 6:20 AM
 
steamboatsystema wrote:
Alpen I'd love to just tag along through one of your courses you put on, but I'm guessing as a civilian that's not really a possibility. 

Well, brother.....we are planning to start an actual HPG Training Division sometime in the near future, so the opportunity to do some real Land Nav training will certainly exist as an opportunity!  Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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2/9/2016 9:46 PM
 
alpendrms wrote:
steamboatsystema wrote:
Alpen I'd love to just tag along through one of your courses you put on, but I'm guessing as a civilian that's not really a possibility. 

Well, brother.....we are planning to start an actual HPG Training Division sometime in the near future, so the opportunity to do some real Land Nav training will certainly exist as an opportunity!  Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!

 That news is nothing short of awesome! Fingers and toes crossed things work out!


"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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2/17/2016 8:45 AM
 

I, too, would be very interested in a HPG land nav course. Keep us posted!

 
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2/23/2016 8:01 AM
 
Ken,

Do you have a go to, do it all, compass that you recommend?
 
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2/23/2016 8:20 AM
 
CollinAshmore wrote:
Ken,

Do you have a go to, do it all, compass that you recommend?

The Suunto M2G Global remains my all time favorite.  Behind that, I like the M3G.  

I've been messing around with a Brunton TruArc 15, but I'm still not sure how I feel about it.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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2/23/2016 8:46 AM
 
Thank you Ken. I see that one recommended a lot, but I read a number of reviews where they said it developed bubbles in the cold. Have you noticed that? Thank you again
 
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2/23/2016 9:01 AM
 

I haven't experienced that...yet.  However, when I carry mine in cold weather, it's always been inside my Kit Bag....although that isn't necessarily a "warm place" for it, maybe because it's been riding in an interior pocket it has gotten some protection from the elements.

We used to issue Silvas to our students and have found that those develop bubbles rather quickly....I think their QC has fallen off.

One of the reasons I've been trying out the Brunton TruArc 15 is that it is touted to be very mountain and high country friendly...but where I've had issue with it is in its design (takes a bit of getting used to) and also its lack of a luminous ability for low light and night time use.  I've come up with a work-around for that problem, but I do plan to give it some testing during Winter Skills alongside my M2G and M3G...time allowing.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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2/23/2016 9:46 AM
 
Excellent information. Thank you for the detail!
 
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2/26/2016 3:23 AM
 
Hi Ken,

Sorry to bother you again, but I assume one would want the MG2 with the inch scale? Or is the metric scale preferred? I'm guessing most maps here in the US have the inch scale.

Also, it appears they have three MC2 Global models and if you compare them, the one (MC2/G/6400) does not have operating temperatures, while the others do:
http://www.suunto.com/en-US/Compare-Products/?products=6435;8017;8021
 
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2/26/2016 6:54 AM
 

I always get the metric scale because of our overseas travel, and also in the courses I teach we use metric measurements.

Never analyzed whether certain models have particular operating temps or not...all I cared about was whether it would work globally.  The M2G and M3G ones that I have both seem to put up with heat and cold well enough for me.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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2/26/2016 10:56 AM
 
Thank you very much
 
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5/7/2016 8:17 AM
 
Ken,

Can the metric work with most maps here in the US? There is a great deal on Massdrop for the MC3, and I have to choose between Inches or CM
 
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9/8/2016 10:39 PM
 
Collin,

I've seen the M-3 G in Universal with inch and metric on it.

https://www.amazon.com/Suunto-SS021369000-M-3nh-Leader-Compass/dp/B00XANJRHG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473395844&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=suunto+m2g+global

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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