Student Review: Land Navigation August: Arthur
I attended the Land Navigation class on August 22-23. This is an excellent class and is highly recommended. This turned out to be more challenging than I thought. More challenging because the level of effort (read PT) is much higher than I thought as a result of the terrain at the MVT site. In addition, when out in the woods, following unknown terrain, trying to associate the terrain to your map, holding a bearing while counting your paces to the checkpoint, while your brain is telling you to do something else, requires patience and the belief that you have the correct “tools” when you step off the starting point. Max gives you the “tools” and the knowledge you need to step off, with confidence, to find the checkpoints.
In the MVT tradition, the crawl, walk, run progression is followed. The class starts with a half day plus of well organized classroom instruction covering safety, map reading, grid referencing, terrain features, bearing calculation and the different methods of getting across the terrain from point A to point B. The pace of this discussion is determined by the students and I thought all concepts were expressed and conveyed clearly. We then move out of the class room to actual land navigation is buddy pairs. There are a total of 4 navigation courses run with the last iteration on the second day being a solo run.
At the completion of each iteration there is a short debrief with Max by each team/individual where he wants to know how it went, what problems/difficulties were encountered so input could be immediately given to clarify the experience.
I have 3 final observations. First, this is a skill that once you comprehend it, trust it and practice it, is very portable. Second, for those interested in the RC, this is a must. Lots of time, effort and stress will be saved. Finally, this is 2 very well spent training days.