1. Determine your pace count.
When traveling on foot,
measure distance by counting
paces. The average soldier uses 116
paces to travel 100 meters. Check
your pace length by practicing on a
known 100-meter distance, like a
football field plus one end zone,
which is 110 yards (about 100
cross-country as in the field, you
use more paces to travel 100 meters,
usually about 148 instead of 116.
This is because you are not
traveling over level ground, and
must use more paces to make up for
movement up and down hills. Pace
yourself over at least 600 meters of
crisscrossing terrain to learn how
many paces it takes you to travel an
average 100 meters over such
Be sure you know how many
paces it takes you to walk 100
meters on both level and
The problem in pacing
is maintaining a straight line. At
night, you will tend to walk in a
clockwise circle if you do not use
a compass. In daylight, you should
use aiming points and a compass.
Also, remember to figure only the
straight-line distance when you
have to walk around an obstacle.
Another problem is
keeping count of paces taken. One
way is to use pebbles. For
instance, suppose you want to pace
off one kilometer. (A kilometer is
1,000 meters or the distance
between two of the black grid
lines on the map.) Put 10 pebbles
in your right pocket. When you go
100 meters, move one pebble to
your left pocket and start your
count over. When all 10 pebbles
had been moved to your left
pocket, you have traveled one
kilometer. Or, tie knots in a
string, one knot per 100 meters.
Sample problem: You are
to move 715 meters, and your pace
count for 100 meters is 116 paces.
Using the pebble
methods, you will need seven
pebbles. This will take you 700
meters. But what about the other
To determine how many
paces it will take to go the
remaining 15 meters, multiply 15
meters by your pace count
(116-15 x 116 = 1,740). Mark out
the last two numbers (40). The
remainder (17) is how many paces
it will take to go 15 meters.
So you would go 715
meters using the pebble method by
pacing off 116 paces per 100
meters until all seven pebbles are
used, then go an additional 17
paces to arrive at 715 meters.
2. Navigate from one point to another using terrain
This technique uses
terrain or man-made features to
serve as landmarks or checkpoints
for maintaining direction of
movement. It can be used anywhere,
day or night, as long as there are
distinguishable terrain features.
You use terrain association when
moving from the unit area to the
motor pool. You walk down the road
or sidewalk using intersections or
buildings to steer or turn on
(landmarks or checkpoints). In the
field, with few roads and buildings,
use terrain features for your axis
b. In using association, you
locate first your position on the
map then your destination or
objective. It will seldom be the
best way to travel. For example,
look at figure 071-329-1006-1.
Assume that you are to move
from point A to point B. You see
that a straight line could cause you
to climb several small ridges and
valleys (the "Xs" on
When adjusting your
route, consider the following:
(1) Tactical aspect.
Avoid skylining open areas and
danger areas like streams or
crossings on roads and hilltops.
Your tactical concern is survival.
The mission is causing you to move
to your objective. You need to be
sure you get to that objective.
Looking at figure 071-329-1006-2,
you decide for tactical reasons to
cross the stream where you would
not be seen from the road (C) and
to cross the road in a small
valley (D). You know that valleys
offer better cover and
concealment, so you will use them
Ease of movement.
Always pick the easiest
route that the tactical situation
allows. However, you achieve
surprise by doing the unexpected.
A difficult route increases your
chance of getting lost. A
difficult route may be noisy and
may tire you out before you get to
Boundaries. It is
almost impossible to travel in a
straight line, with or without a
compass. Pick an axis or corridor
to travel along. Pick boundaries
you will be able to spot or feel.
Hard-top roads, streams, high
grounds, and railroads all make
good boundaries. If you start to
wander too far off course, you
will know it.
d. You decide the route shown
in figure 071-329-1006-3
offers you easy movement. You check
your axis up the valley (1); across
the ridge at the saddle (2); cross
the stream and turn left, keeping
the stream on the left and high
ground on the right (4); to the
third valley (5); to the saddle,
then on to the objective (6).
Route of travel
With boundaries to keep
you straight, you need to know
where, along your corridor, you are.
You do this with checkpoints. The
best checkpoint is a line or linear
feature that you cannot miss. A
linear feature across your corridor,
or axis, is crossed no matter where
you are in the axis. Use hard-top
roads, railroads, power lines,
perennial streams (solid blue lines,
the dash blue lines are frequently
dry), rivers, ridges, and valleys.
Note. DO NOT use light-duty roads and trails; there are always
more on the ground than the map shows.
DO NOT use wood lines, which are
Referring to figure 071-329-1006-3,
pick your checkpoints.
Saddle, use Hill 241 to
line on up the right valley, and
Stream, move along it
Bend in the stream,
turn right to-
Road in the valley (the
ridge crossing on the road on the
12-grid line will serve as a
limiting feature), then up to-
Far saddle, and right
to your objective (B).
If you cannot find linear
features, use an elevation
change-hill or depression, small
ridge, or valley. Look for one
contour line of change during the
day, two at night. Regardless of
contour interval, you will spot a
contour interval of change on foot.
Determine the distance
between checkpoints. DISTANCE IS THE
CAUSE OF MOST NAVIGATIONAL MISTAKES.
Estimate or measure the distance
from one checkpoint to another.
Trust that distance.
Referring to figure 071-329-1006-4,
check your distances:
500 meters to the
800 meters to the
500 meters to the bend
in the stream (3).
300 meters to the road
(5) 1,000 meters to the
far saddle (5).
3. Navigate from one point to another using dead
Dead reckoning is a
technique of following a set route
or line for a determined distance.
This technique is used on flat
terrain, like deserts and swamps. It
can be used day or night. To use
(1) Locate the start
point and finish point on the map
Distance between checkpoints
Determine the grid
azimuth from the start point to
the finish point, or to the first
intermediate point on the map.
Convert the grid
azimuth taken from the map to a
Determine the distance
between the start point and the
finish point, or any intermediate
points on the map.
Note. If you do not know how many paces you take for each 100
meters, you should move to a 100-meter
course and determine your pace count.
Convert the map
distance to pace count.
Make a thorough map
reconnaissance of the area between
the start point and the finish
Before moving from the
start point, shoot an azimuth on a
well-defined object on the ground in
the direction of travel. These
objects, known as steering points,
may be lone trees, buildings, rocks,
or any easily identifiable point. At
night, the most likely steering
point will be a star. Because of the
rotation of the Earth, the positions
of the stars continually change. You
must check your azimuth frequently.
Do this only when halted. Using your
compass while moving will cause you
to go off-course. Your steering mark
may be beyond your objective.
Remember to travel the distance you
Once you have selected a
steering point, move toward it,
remembering to begin your count. You
should have some method devised to
keep track of the number of 100
meters you travel.
Upon reaching your first
steering point, shoot an azimuth to
another steering mark, and repeat c,
until you reach the finish point.
e. If you should encounter an
obstacle, you may have to detour
around it (figure
To do this, complete a series
of 90-degree turns until the
obstacle is bypassed and you are
back on the original azimuth.
Bypassing an obstacle
At the edge of the
obstacle, make a note of the
number of paces taken to this
If your detour is to
the right, add 90 degrees to the
Using the new azimuth,
pick a steering mark and move
toward it, making sure you begin a
new pace count. Move on this
azimuth until reaching the end of
Stop and make a note of
the number of paces taken, again
as in (2) above, add or subtract
90 degrees from the azimuth just
read, and move to the far side of
Upon reaching the far
side, stop the count and make note
of the number of paces taken; add
this pace count to the pace count
noted in (1).
At this time, again add
or subtract 90 degrees from the
azimuth used. Using this new
azimuth, move the same number of
paces taken on the first leg of
the offset or detour.
Place the compass on
your original azimuth, pick up the
pace count you ended with when you
cleared the obstacle, and proceed
to your finish point.
Bypassing the same
obstacle at night calls for special
To make a 90-degree
turn, hold the compass as you
would to determine a magnetic
Turn until the center
of the luminous letter
"E" is under the
luminous line (do not change the
setting of the luminous line).
Note. If you turn to the right, "E" is under the
luminous line. If you turn to the
left, "W" is under the line.
Proceed in the
direction until you have
outflanked the obstacle.
Turn until the north
arrow is under the luminous line
and proceed parallel to your
original course until you have
bypassed the obstacle.
Turn until the
"W" is under the
luminous line and move back the
same distance you originally
Finally, turn until the
north arrow is under the luminous
line and proceed on your original
You must do the pace
count the same as you do for
bypassing the obstacle during
After reaching the finish
point, conduct a detailed terrain
analysis to confirm your location.
4. Navigate from one point to another by combining
terrain association with dead
Frequently, you must
consider the advantage and
disadvantage of both navigation
Terrain association is
fast and easy, and allows for
mistakes. It is also subject to
map accuracy and can only be used
with recognizable terrain
Dead reckoning is
accurate and works on flat terrain
that lacks terrain features;
however, all work must be precise,
and the technique takes time.
There may be times when
you combine both techniques. For
instance, in the desert, you may
need to use dead reckoning to arrive
at or near a road, or a ridge, and
then use terrain association to
follow that feature to an objective.