NAVIGATION - Instruction Has Begun

Bozz

FRF Supporting Member
Supporting Member
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Aug 24, 2020
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Nashville, TN
When I can with y’all’s indulgence, I will give personal accounts to highlight or illustrate points. I’ve been in situations off-roading and hiking that had I not been prepared, things could have gone south quickly.
LIFE’S GOLDEN RULE...
FAILING TO PREPARE...IS IN FACT PREPARING TO FAIL!!
You don’t want to become an Episode with Creek Stewart on the Weather’s Channel SOS-What did I do to F*><k Myself?? Other than Bad Luck, every situation resulted from PPPP-PISS POOR PRIOR PLANNING- which usually results in an emergency on someone else’s part ;) other times it’s BFL and shit happens. If your prepared though you will survive.
My wife and people have laughed at me for my “OVER-PREPAREDNESS” I have to many years in the Army, Fire, Police to not know that everything will fail at sometime. When your gun goes click in a gun fight, it’s the Loudest Sound you will ever hear. That’s why whenever possible I have redundant systems (my attention always on the Deaver Springs Threds) I carry to much shit.
Example-I’ve had 28 surgeries so I’m constantly trying to lighten my FNING PACK!! Wife and I were Hiking Grand Teton NP. It’s Sunny 70. We are in shorts t-shirts. I put in jackets, hats& gloves. Wife says WTF?? We are returning from up on Inspiration Point across Jenny Lake. Clouds roll in, Temperature drops 30 degrees and it starts to Hail! Wife says “I’ll never ask Why again.” Same thing, same trail system. Dr Gonzales (DEEP SURVIVAL-WHO LIVES, WHO DIES and WHY) He takes off from Jenny Lake w/girlfriend. Beautiful Day. Let’s walk.(No Pack, No Map, No Water, NADA)Walking/ Wandering turns into 5miles. Clouds roll in Temp drops 30degrees, starts snowing! They beat feet back to Lodge. They come to “Y” in the trail. She goes left, he goes right. They stop and look at each other, CONFUSED AS F%>#K. It’s snowing hard now, they are wet/Freezing!! They hear voices, follow them down to the LAST BOAT across Jenny Lk. IT SNOWED GOR 3FNING DAYS! No catch the boat by Sheer Luck? They are probably dead!
Example 2-John and wife are off-roading in the Wilderness area between US-95 & Colorado River. It’s 115degrees outside, it’s 1400 so going to get a little HOTTER! we leave a cove on the river and decide to take TWIST CANYON back to the Hwy. It’s a shelf road that climbs up 2k’ on switchbacks that rival trails in Silverton CO. I’m in my Gutless Jeep struggling to climb the switchbacks. I’m suffering from CRANIUM RECTITUS!! I have the AC blasting (118 out now) as we struggle upwards. BEEP BEEP BEEEP-WRarning lights I’ve never seen before. I OVERHEATED THE TRANNY! I almost shut the Jeep Off! Luckily I looked in the owners manual, “Shut Jeep Off, RUIN JEEP” I shut of A/C off, kept it running to cool the tranny and continued to Hwy w/o further incident. Had the Jeep died, were we “Prepared”?? It’s 118, 1500hrs No Cell service, 20miles from the Hard Ball, Highly Unlikely that anyone is going to pass by. Even if we are JUST OFF-ROADING, I ALWAYS carry our packs equipped accordingly to the season. We always have our hiking boots.(no one comes with me in flip-Flops) And most importantly A LOT OF WATER! If we had to walk out. She’s staying with the vehicle/Dogs. I’m obviously waiting until sunset to begin. ( Headlamp 4 night? I have 2 in every Pack (I’m afraid of the dark)
Example 3- In this same area, a woman and her 4-kids under 13! Were trying to go swim at “TRASH COVE” she’s in a 2wd Chevy. I’m rolling back from FIRE MNT COVE. I come up on a 8yoa standing in the middle of a the single track, doing the cell phone dance, hoping to catch a signal. We find her mother and her siblings. Buried to the Axel in the sand off of the trail. It’s a 110 degrees and they are OUT OF FNING WATER!! I water them up, pull them out and give them directions to Trash Cove.( 3 turns 10 miles from us) Off She Goes. I pack up my recovery gear and head out. I’m going a lot faster than she can. I should’ve passed her? She turned left off of Fire Mnt. Taking her deeper into the Wilderness Area!! As soon as I get a signal I call NPS SAR and advise them, it’s their turn to save this IDIOT. She prepared to FAIL in multiple ways. It’s BLIND LUCK that she didn’t kill the whole Family!!
We will cover this deeper in this Thred, again-FAILING TO PREPARE..IS PREPARING TO FAIL!!
If you have a story to share, please do!!
We can All Learn from Each Others AAR!
( After Action Review )
Showed this to my wife. She thinks we are long lost brothers. She used to rag me for always being prepared for just about anything, until......
 

John M

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Sep 5, 2020
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297
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Las Vegas NV
Thanks very much for the offer, John. I started my early career in Map Reading and Land Navigation in 1979 and been at it ever since. That said, I know when to get all Wayne and Garth ("we're not worthy!") and you certainly have a magnificently stellar record in that respect. To echo comments above, I am ALWAYS looking to learn from my betters. I look forward to whatever you care to offer and again thank you for the time investment in doing so.

Relatedly, I recently published a piece on a key principle of navigation, if anybody has interest. It's here:

https://www.tactical-life.com/lifestyle/military-and-police/dead-reckoning-compass-training/
OUTSTANDING READ! Thank you for sharing. Similar experience for DAVID GOGGINS a Super Stud! In his book he opens his soul and tells how a simple navigational error, errr day dreaming cost him his spot in DELTA!! He owned up to it, nobody “screwed him”. He excelled in every aspect of DELTA Selection until....NAV error. :(
I went to a Infantry Sqd Leader Refresher course at Ft Benning. We used the same Land NAV course that IOBC uses. We had about 120 in the class. 15 or so of us received Grad certificates. The rest received Certificates of Attendance basically, they all failed Land NAV! I’m great at Map Reading ( intersection m, resection etc.) and Compass Courses but still not as strong at Land Navigation/ Terrain Association as I would like to be, especially mounted where things fly by a lot quicker. You really have to be on your game.
I’m intending to stick to the basics as would be applicable to a forum type setting. Trying to give folks the confidence to take that “DIRT PATH” in their Raptor and on foot. Being Prepared and a little Confidence in your Abilities goes a long way.
I plan on covering, 5 Major Terrain Features, reading contour lines, having an ESCAPE AZIMUTH, etc.
Once I get started I would greatly appreciate your input, corrections and stories that you can share. Again, great article, thank You for sharing.
PATHFINDERS LIGHT THE WAY...
 

JoeSC

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Aug 31, 2020
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163
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Tampa
WTF?? I’ve almost given $$$$ worth of Audio books. I’ll search tomorrow. F my brother in law if I find it haaaaa haaa

Ha! On the plus side, you’re all set for when they do remove it!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to what else you have planned for this thread!
 

John M

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Sep 5, 2020
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Las Vegas NV
“LET’S ROLL” NAVIGATION 101
I’m again asking anyone that’s playing along with us on this thread..If you have a story, better way of doing it, a different piece of equipment that you may use, PLEASE SHARE WITH THE GROUP. I’ve already learned so many different tips and options for my Raptor on this FRF I consider it one of my Go To resources for all things RAPTORING!
Our TLO-Terminal Learning Objective
Our soul purpose is to give everyone on FRF the Knowledge, Skill and Confidence to GET LOST. We want you to take Yourself and your Raptor to new places that before, you may have hesitated to Venture!
 

John M

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297
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Las Vegas NV
** SAFETY **
First and foremost, whether on foot or 4x4 we want to do it Safely.
1. ALWAYS LET SOMEONE KNOW WHAT AREA/TRAIL THAT YOU ARE GOING TO & WHAT TIME YOU ARE EXPECTED BACK.
this is especially true if you fly solo like I do most of the time. SAR can’t begin to look for you if nobody has any F<>king Idea where to start.
2. REDUNDANCY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
All of your sh<#t that you are counting on Will Fail at some time and MURPHY’S LAW dictates that it will fail at the most in opportune time.
Your water bladder will spring a leak 8 miles into a hike, or your 3 gallons of water in the back of your Raptor will have unknowingly drained out when your Raptor breaks or your stuck 100 miles into the desert when it’s 115 outside.
3. IF YOU HAVE TOTALLY F<>KED YOURSELF...STAY WHERE YOU ARE(on foot) STAY WITH YOUR RAPTOR!
“DYING AIN’T MUCH OF A LIVING BOY”
Jose Whales...
It’s a lot easier to see your Raptor from the air than you wandering in your camouflage “outfit” Baaaahaaa
 

John M

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Posts
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Las Vegas NV
**NEVER LEAVE HOME W/O IT**
1. One piece of SAFETY GEAR that Everyone should add to their Kit, is the GARMIN IN-REACH Satellite Communicator.
It is an essential item for your group or yourself if you fly solo.
My wife picked one up for me several years ago because I venture out solo most of time. It’s not that she was concerned about loosing me, it’s more “The Insurance company doesn’t like to pay if they can’t find the body” ;)
Cost-Around $400, base subscription $14.99 a month.
It’s an amazing tool for several reasons. On my base plan it allows me to send 3 different pre-set messages w/o charge. I have, 1-Checking in all is well, I send this at the Trail-Head or the point at which I leave the pavement. I then send it again every couple of hours. When she opens the text on her phone, it brings up my location and a Satellite Picture of my location! My other two pre-sets are Delayed but ok & Off Trail heading home.
She can also open my my account on her computer and Track Me In Real Time if I have it on and tracking.
You can also text like a 16yoa, but on the base plan you will pay$$$
THE GREATEST FEATURE of course is the SOS button. It will activate SAR with the location of your SOS. The huge advantage over the old SPOT is the ability to communicate with SAR. You can give them critical info that will greatly assist their response, ie: CPR in progress, air extract required. Broke my leg but I’m stable. Rolled my Raptor, pinned in vehicle, require JAWS OF LIFE for Extraction.
You can set the device to ping your location every 30min, every hour etc. in case you forget a sit-rep.
There are other features and new features I’m sure, mine is several years old, that you tech-savy guys can take advantage of, I’m doing good to turn it on and activate the tracking ;)
I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
https://www.garmin.com/inreach

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John M

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Las Vegas NV
https://blog.gaiagps.com/how-to-read-topographic-maps/
As part of my Work Reduction Act 2021
I found a great article from my Favorite NAV App, GAIA. It’s much easier read that try to decipher my Thread Dissertation. I will however still cover the highlights and share with you what I use on foot and 4X4 and the tools I never leave home w/o. Even if don’t plan hiking over a mile, or doing 20 miles of the Back Road that you know like the back of your hand, I take these things with me. No one ever leaves their home saying “Hmmm I think I will go out for the day and get myself lost, break my leg, roll my Raptor etc. 40 years of trial and error and I’m still here, mostly from pure luck and God’s Grace.
Again, Please share with the group your go to items/tools. With everyone’s input we can keep from becoming the next episode of SOS with Creek Stewart or the next chapter in Dr Gonzalez’s book DEEP SURVIVAL
 
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John M

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Las Vegas NV
A COMPASS, I always have one in the Raptor and in my Pack that is always in my Raptor. You can put all your eggs in one basket, my Raptor has a compass, and then when you have to head out on foot your screwed.
ENGINEER TAPE- I like Orange, it comes in several colors and you can pick it up at any Lowe’s, Hm Depot orNursery.
I learned this tip up at Mount Rainier in a class when we were learning about Navigating Glaciers & snow covered tundra. This same technique can be used in any terrain on foot or 4X4, when everything looks the same. It’s simply “Bread Crumbs” on the Glacier we used Sprinkler Flags that we stuck into the snow. In the desert, washes or slick rock I use Rock Carins and sometimes add a piece of the Engineer Tape to the Carin. In the heavily wooded terrain or desert that has a bush you can tie it to, use the ET tied to a tree/bush to mark turns etc. If you are doing an out and back trail. Please be a good Steward of the land and remove your “Caribs/EP” on the way out. Keep it wild do the next person can find their own route :)

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