Special Forces Land Navigation Tips that Civilians Can Use

Check out these videos and tips to get you started with land navigation in the field.

Note – with any videos you watch you must spend time in the field with a competent instructor to learn the basics.

The US Army Special Forces Land Navigation Course is an advanced training program designed to teach soldiers in the Special Forces how to navigate through unfamiliar terrain using a map, compass, and other basic tools. This course is part of the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), which is a rigorous selection and training process for soldiers who want to become members of the US Army’s Special Forces.

The land navigation course consists of both classroom instruction and hands-on field training, with an emphasis on practical application and real-world scenarios. Soldiers learn how to read and interpret maps, use a compass to orient themselves and determine their location, and navigate through various types of terrain, including forests, mountains, and deserts.

One of the unique features of the Special Forces Land Navigation Course is the use of Special Forces qualified instructors who are experienced in navigating in a variety of environments and conditions. These instructors provide personalized feedback and coaching to help soldiers improve their skills and build confidence in their abilities.

Successful completion of the US Army Special Forces Land Navigation Course is a key requirement for soldiers who want to become members of the US Army’s Special Forces. The skills and knowledge gained through this training are critical for soldiers who may be deployed to remote or hostile environments where accurate navigation is essential for mission success and personal safety.

Check out these tips on learning to use a compass for navigation involves several steps:

Understand the Basics:

Familiarize yourself with the compass components: the magnetic needle, housing, orienting arrow, and direction-of-travel arrow.

Calibrate the Compass:

Ensure the compass is correctly oriented by setting the declination (the difference between true north and magnetic north) if needed for your location.

Identify Directions:

Learn how to find north using the compass needle and align the compass with the cardinal directions (north, south, east, west).

Take Bearings:

Practice taking bearings by sighting an object in the distance and reading the degree marker where the compass needle points.

Follow Bearings: Use the taken bearings to navigate. Align the compass needle with the desired direction and move in that direction while periodically checking the compass to stay on track.

Use Maps: Integrate compass skills with maps by orienting the map to match the compass and finding your location or plotting a course.
Practice and Familiarize: Regular practice in various terrains and conditions will enhance your proficiency in using a compass for navigation.

Question: Where can I learn more about US Army Special Forces? Check out the website here:

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