Navy SEAL BUD/S Land Navigation

Land navigation is a critical skill for Navy SEALs, and it is a key part of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training program. BUD/S is a rigorous and challenging training program designed to prepare individuals for the demands of special operations missions.

During the land navigation training portion of BUD/S, SEAL candidates learn how to navigate through unfamiliar terrain using a map and compass. They learn to plot courses, take bearings, and use terrain features to orient themselves and determine their location. The training is designed to teach candidates how to navigate through a variety of environments, including deserts, mountains, forests, and urban areas.

The land navigation training in BUD/S typically begins with classroom instruction, where candidates learn the basics of map reading, compass use, and navigation techniques.


The basics of map reading in a land navigation course taught at BUDS Navy SEAL training involve several key components. First, candidates are taught how to identify and interpret key features on a map, such as contours, symbols, and colors. They learn how to use this information to determine the terrain and other important details about their surroundings.

Next, candidates are taught how to use a compass to take bearings and orient themselves on the map. They learn how to adjust for magnetic declination, which is the difference between true north and magnetic north, in order to accurately navigate. They also learn how to use back azimuths and triangulation to pinpoint their location on the map.

In addition, candidates are taught how to plan a route using a map and compass. They learn how to plot points on the map, estimate distances, and factor in the terrain and other environmental factors to determine the best route to their destination.

Finally, candidates are taught how to navigate using a map and compass in the field. They learn how to adjust for obstacles and other challenges, maintain situational awareness, and communicate effectively with their team members.

Overall, the basics of map reading in a land navigation course taught at BUDS Navy SEAL training involve a combination of map interpretation, compass use, route planning, and field navigation skills. Candidates must master these skills in order to successfully navigate through unfamiliar terrain and complete their missions.


The BUDS trainees then move on to field exercises, where they apply these skills in real-world scenarios.

In these exercises, candidates work in teams or individually to navigate through challenging terrain while completing various tasks and objectives. The exercises are designed to test the candidates’ abilities to navigate accurately and efficiently while under physical and mental stress.

Throughout the training, candidates are evaluated on their ability to navigate, plan routes, and communicate effectively with their team members. The instructors provide feedback and guidance to help the candidates improve their skills and overcome any challenges they may encounter.

Overall, land navigation training is an essential component of BUD/S, and mastering this skill is crucial for Navy SEALs to successfully execute their missions.

Navy SEAL History

Seal Fit Stack

SGPT Upcoming Events

Personal Online Coaching

Work 1-on-1
with SEAL Grinder's Brad McLeod
To Achieve Your Goals

pic of brad

Personal fitness training from Brad McLeod, Navy Seal and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. Delivered online, directly to you.

"I recommend Brad to anyone that seriously wants to go to BUDs or anything else in life... try these workouts. Hooyah!" - Chris H.

learn more button