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Authored by John W. Desmarais 18-Dec-1999

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1 Authored by John W. Desmarais 18-Dec-1999
Updated by Brockman 09-Jul-2008 Modified by Lt Colonel Fred Blundell TX-129 Fort Worth Senior Squadron For Local Training Rev Jan-2014

2 This Training Slide Show is a project undertaken by Lt Colonel Fred Blundell of the TX-129 Fort Worth Senior Squadron, Fort Worth, TX for local use to assist those CAP Members interested in advancing their skills. The information contained herein is for CAP Member’s personal use and is not intended to replace or be a substitute for any of the CAP National Training Programs. Users should review the presentation’s Revision Number at the end of each file name to ensure that they have the most current publication.

3 Compass There are two major types of compass used for navigation:
Lensatic Orienteering The compass most used in SAR is the orienteering Regardless of type, make sure your compass azimuth ring will read a maximum or 2 degree graduations Make sure the compass has a dampening system to help the needle settle faster Have a means to secure it so it won’t get lost

4 Orienteering Compass Orienteering compasses tend to be popular for hikers, mainly because they are fairly cheap and easy to use.

5 Follow a Direction with an Orienteering Compass
Set your compass to the azimuth you want (for instance 20 degrees) at the index line. Turn your body holding the compass steady until the red end of the needle is over “N” (North) on the dial. This is called “boxing” or “centering” the needle.

6 Determine a Bearing with an Orienteering Compass
Select a landmark and hold the compass level and point the direction of travel arrow at the landmark. Turn the compass dial until the “N” aligns with the red end of the needle. Read the heading at the index line. This is the “azimuth” or “bearing”

7 Lensatic Compass

8 Centerhold Technique Preferred Method

9 Compass-to-Cheek Technique
The centerhold technique is considered faster and easier. It can be used in all conditions of visibility, over any type of terrain, and helmets and eye glasses do not have to be removed.

10 Different models may vary in details
Lensatic Compass Use Different models may vary in details Hold the compass level in the palm of your hand Rotate it until the desired azimuth falls under the fixed black index line Turn the bezel ring until the luminous line is aligned with the north-seeking arrow. Once the alignment is obtained, the compass is preset. To follow the azimuth, use the centerhold technique and turn your body until the north-seeking arrow is aligned with the luminous line.

11 Lensatic Compass (Continued)
To measure an azimuth, turn your entire body toward the object, pointing the compass cover directly at the object. Once you are pointing at the object, simply look down and read the azimuth from beneath the fixed black index line. You can even use this method at night.

12 When using any compass The arrow of a compass is also affected by metal- a van, knife, or even power lines can affect the use of your compass Safe Distances: High tension power lines: 55 meters Vehicle: 10 meters Steel helmet: ½ meter Telephone wires or fence: 10 meters

13 Compass Circle Azimuths (bearings) are given in degrees in a clockwise direction Since there are 360 degrees in a circle- an azimuth can be any number up to 360

14 2 Norths? 3 Norths?

15 Sometimes the G-M is so small you may not have to worry about it.

16 Pace Count The number of paces it takes you to cover 100 meters
Pace can be affected by a number of factors Visibility. Poor visibility, such as in fog, rain, or darkness, will shorten your pace. Clothing. Excess clothing and boots with poor traction affect the pace length. Surfaces. Sand, gravel, mud, snow, and similar surface materials tend to shorten the pace.

17 Pace Count (Continued)
Slopes. Your pace lengthens on a downslope and shortens on an upgrade. Keeping this in mind, if it normally takes you 120 paces to walk 100 meters, your pace count may increase to 130 or more when walking up a slope. Winds. A head wind shortens the pace and a tail wind increases it. Elements. Falling snow, rain, or ice cause the pace to be reduced in length.

18 Pace Count (Continued)
Determining Pace Count Walk a MEASURED 100 meter course and record your pace count Count only your left or right step- not both Walk the Return of that 100 meter course and record your pace count Add the two together, and divide the sum by two to get your average pace count on that terrain Work the Math 1st Leg 121 Return Leg 119 Sum 240 / 2 Average Pace 100 Meters 120

19 Pace Count (Continued)
Calculating a distance to travel is simply a matter of basic math For example, to walk 250 meters using the previous pace count of 120 paces takes 300 paces 120 paces (100 meters) + 60 paces (50 meters is 1/2 of 100 meters) 300 paces (250 meters)

20 Pace Count (Continued) The big problem in pacing is to maintain a straight line. At night, the average person tends to walk in a circle In daylight, you should use a compass and steering points (well defined objects in your line of travel) towards which you can steer

21 Pace Count (Continued)
Keep track of the paces you have walked in the field. It is too easy to forget and be off course. Try using some of the following. For every 100 meters try Move a bead on your pace counter Place a mark in a notebook Tie a knot in a string Put a pebble in your pocket

22 Pace Count (Continued)
Suppose you want to pace off one kilometer (one kilometer is 1000 meters). Put ten pebbles in your right pocket When you go 100 meters, move one pebble to your left pocket When all ten pebbles are in your left pocket- you have gone one kilometer. Of course you could tie knots in a string- one for every 100 meters until you got ten also.

23 Steering Points It is difficult to follow a straight line using only a compass because of a tendency to drift while walking It is best to pick out objects in the line of your azimuth and use them as steering points

24 Steering Points (Continued)
Pick out a distinctive tree, bush, rock, land feature, etc. that is in line with your travel azimuth Walk to that point (remember your pace count) and shoot your azimuth and find another steering point

25 Steering Points (Continued)
Continue following your steering points until you reach your location. Be careful- distinctive features from a distance may be difficult to find as you move toward them. Pay close attention and mark your position and record your pace count at each stop in the event you have to go back.

26 Steering Points (Continued)
If there are no steering points or it is night In a team situation, put one person ahead where he/she may still communicate by voice or hand signal with the navigator. The navigator will shoot an azimuth and line up the person on point by directing them left or right until they mark the azimuth path Travel to the point person and repeat the process

27 Navigating Past an Obstacle
Basically make a box around the obstacle Accuracy counts, especially around larger obstacles

28 Only figure your straight line distance when walking around an obstacle.


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