There have been many books on the subject of Overland Navigation and it’s true to say that the subject requires some dedication to become proficient; however, once you are proficient you will gain a self confidence when moving through hostile terrain that others will envy.
I have deliberately not listed the individual headings under page numbers; the reason is that most people tend to skip to the bits they feel they want to know about. Often, this leads to misunderstandings and a lack of correlation between the individual skills. The book is not particularly long and by reading it from the beginning you will find that everything falls into place with each other. It’s this continuity that will make practical navigation much easier and understandable; after all, it’s the way you’ll interpret the theory that will make the practical navigation skills easier to master.
As you progress through the book you will learn how to find your way across all types of terrain using a number of methods. You will learn how to find out where you are, how to plan a route; you will learn about attack points and aiming off in bad weather. You will learn how to perform an expanding spiral search, learn about slope aspects, pacing, handrailing and much, much more. The book refers to the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 ‘Landranger’ series to explain many aspects but the concept is the same wherever you are in the world.
To the overland adventurer, navigation is only one of the many skills that are required. The skill is no more or less important than many of the other skills an adventurer must possess to remain safe in what can sometimes be extremely dangerous environments. Many adventurers travel alone requiring all of the basic skills to be of an extremely high standard in order to maintain a healthy safety margin
Of course, reading this book won’t make you a good navigator overnight but it will give you all the basic information to become very proficient. The practical experience will be gained on your adventures and as you become more confident you will plan more remote adventures. Although there is always more to learn you will get to the stage where extreme weather will only ever be a consideration from an additional skills & equipment point of view, never from a navigational one.
I hope that this book will inspire you to explore the subject further and to use your newfound skills to fulfil your outdoor dreams and ambitions, wherever they may be. An advanced overland navigation book should be available shortly covering the navigational considerations for group leaders, Special Forces and escape & evasion.
Our journey begins with a look at the system used in making many of our maps. Although the system is quite complex a general understanding will be sufficient for our needs. We also need to look at the terms used and how to find all the information that we may require from the map we are using at the time. Once you have a good basic understanding on how maps depict the surface of our planet it’s amazing what can be done with such a small amount of information. A map generally contains as much information that’s unwritten as is written! It’s this basic understanding that is so often lacking in many overland navigation courses, the emission often causing life threatening problems under certain conditions.
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