Student Review: Land Navigation 20/21 June 2015: Skittles

Land Nav class June 20/21 2015
The Land Nav course this past weekend was fantastic. The course is designed to train and test those with experience and those without. I feel everyone there walked away confident in their abilities to navigate with a map and compass. My background is military. I was taught lensatic compass and dead reckoning. Max covered those and added orienteering. Orienteering uses more that just dead reckoning. Its main addition is terrain association. Max taught terrain association clearly and to where all could understand. The class started off with map introduction and use. Followed by compass introduction and use. From there we took off in teams for the first of 4 points to navigate to. The second day we started off in teams, or solo, and did a different set of four points for the morning portion. After lunch we went again, all solo, for yet and another set of different points. There was a lot of walking and it is in the mountains of West Virginia. Was a physically challenging? Yes. Was it brutal? No. There was a 13 year old girl that took that class and did very well. She hiked all the hills without a problem. Now, if she can do it then you should be able to. If you feel you cant, then just admit a 13 year old girl is better than you and take up knitting. If someone like myself who was taught land nav in the military, and used it frequently, can walk away and have learned something, then it is a great class. It was really good to knock the rust of my skills and learn some new ones. I highly recommend this course to those not afraid of a little sweat and walking in the woods.
As a side note, Max is currently trying to locate a place to by the best orienteering compass. If you haven’t purchased one yet I would wait. As soon as he locates a good seller that ships the real deal, he will put up a post. Some of us found what we thought were great compasses, were in fact shite. They worked, but not as well as you will want when you have to do this for survival.
aka Gimli the Mountain Dwarf
Max adds:
I have found the rumor that Silva compasses sold in the US are made in China to be true. I and others have had some bad experiences. I do however prefer the Silva compass, and prefer the Silva Expedition. This is simply the compass that you need for patrol/orienteering style navigation. You don’t need the Ranger with the flip up mirror. People have asked for my recommendation so I am giving it. If you don’t understand they ‘why’ of this recommendation, then come on the land Navigation class and find out.
This is my compass, which I have had since I brought it over from the UK:
It has both a 1:25,000 and 1: 50,000 roamer. It has ‘MADE IN SWEDEN’ etched as shown in the photo. It is marked in degrees.
I believe I have found the correct replacement on I zoomed in on the photo and saw the “MADE IN SWEDEN’ marking. I have ordered one to be sure. This compass is $40 compared to about $15 for the ChinaMart specials, so I am hoping the extra expense means it is shipping from the UK. If you want to be sure, wait till I get mine and compare/post.
Here is the link.
The Silva Expedition 4-360 Compass is an essential tool for advanced navigators, mountaineers, explorers and rescue professionals. This compass is part of Silva’s Expedition series which has been the long-time global leader in compass accuracy, precision and durability. It comes equipped with an easy-handling compass housing, silicon rubber feet for precision map work, luminous marking for the all-important night navigation, a large magnifying lens, GPS and map-measuring scales in mm or inches. A valuable piece of kit you will not want to forget when embarking on your next expedition adventure…