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By: Surplus And Adventure  09-12-2011

Compasses are the primary navigation tools to use when moving in an outdoor world where there is no other way to find directions. Soldiers should be thoroughly familiar with the compass and its uses. Part One of this manual discussed the techniques of map reading. To complement these techniques, a mastery of field movement techniques is essential. Below we describe the lensatic compass and its uses, and some of the field expedient methods used to find directions when compasses are not available.

The is the most common and simplest instrument for measuring direction. The artillery M2 compass is a special-purpose instrument designed for accuracy. The wrist/pocket compass is a small magnetic compass that can be attached to a wristwatch band. It contains a north-seeking arrow and a dial in degrees. A protractor can be used to determine azimuths when a compass is not available. However, it should be noted that when using the protractor on a map, only grid azimuths are obtained.

a

. Cover. The compass cover protects the floating dial. It contains the sighting wire (front sight) and two luminous sighting slots or dots used for night navigation.

NOTE: The compass-to-cheek technique is used almost exclusively for sighting, and it is the best technique for this purpose.

. Star Method.

(1) Less than 60 of approximately 5,000 stars visible to the eye are used by navigators. The stars seen as we look up at the sky at night are not evenly scattered across the whole sky. Instead they are in groups called constellations.

(2) The constellations that we see depends partly on where we are located on the earth, the time of the year, and the time of the night. The night changes with the seasons because of the journey of the earth around the sun, and it also changes from hour to hour because the turning of the earth makes some constellations seem to travel in a circle. But there is one star that is in almost exactly the same place in the sky all night long every night. It is the North Star, also known as the Polar Star or Polaris.

(3) The North Star is less than 1° off true north and does not move from its place because the axis of the earth is pointed toward it. The North Star is in the group of stars called the Little Dipper. It is the last star in the handle of the dipper. There are two stars in the Big Dipper, which are a big help when trying to find the North Star. They are called the Pointers, and an imaginary line drawn through them five times their distance points to the North Star. There are many stars brighter than the North Star, but none is more important because of its location. However, the North Star can only be seen in the northern hemisphere so it cannot serve as a guide south of the equator. The farther one goes north, the higher the North Star is in the sky, and above latitude 70°, it is too high in the sky to be useful.

(4) Depending on the star selected for navigation, azimuth checks are necessary. A star near the north horizon serves for about half an hour. When moving south, azimuth checks should be made every 15 minutes. When travelling east or west, the difficulty of staying on azimuth is caused more by the likelihood of the star climbing too high in the sky or losing itself behind the western horizon than it is by the star changing direction angle. When this happens, it is necessary to change to another guide star. The Southern Cross is the main constellation used as a guide south of the equator, and the above general directions for using north and south stars are reversed. When navigating using the stars as guides, the user must know the different constellation shapes and their locations throughout the world.

Constellations, northern hemisphere.

Constellations, southern hemisphere.

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM

The GPS is a space-based, global, all-weather, continuously available, radio positioning navigation system. It is highly accurate in determining position location derived from signal triangulation from a satellite constellation system. It is capable of determining latitude, longitude, and altitude of the individual user. It is being fielded in hand-held, manpack, vehicular, aircraft, and watercraft configurations. The GPS receives and processes data from satellites on either a simultaneous or sequential basis. It measures the velocity and range with respect to each satellite, processes the data in terms of an earth-centered, earth-fixed coordinate system, and displays the information to the user in geographic or military grid coordinates.

. Specific uses for the GPS are position location; navigation; weapon location; target and sensor location; coordination of firepower; scout and screening operations; combat resupply; location of obstacles, barriers, and gaps; and communication support. The GPS also has the potential to allow units to train their soldiers and provide the following:
  • Performance feedback
  • Knowledge of routes taken by the soldier
  • Knowledge of errors committed by the soldier
  • Comparison of planned versus executed routes
  • Safety and control of lost and injured soldiers

GPS DEFINITION

The ability to accurately determine position location has always been a major problem for soldiers. However, the global positioning system has solved that problem. Soldiers will now be able to determine their position accurately to within 10 meters.

The GPS is a satellite-based, radio navigational system. It consists of a constellation with 24 active satellites that interfaces with a ground-, air-, or sea-based receiver. Each satellite transmits data that enables the GPS receiver to provide precise position and time to the user. The GPS receivers come in several configurations, hand-held, vehicular-mounted, aircraft-mounted, and watercraft-mounted.

GPS OPERATION

The GPS is based on satellite ranging. It figures the users’ position on earth by measuring the distance from a group of satellites in space to the users’ location. For accurate three-dimensional data, the receiver must track four or more satellites. Most GPS receivers provide the user with the number of satellites that it is tracking, and whether or not the signals are good. Some receivers can be manually switched to track only three satellites if the user knows his altitude. This method provides the user with accurate data much faster than that provided by tracking four or more satellites. Each type receiver has a number of mode keys that have a variety of functions. To better understand how the GPS receiver operates, refer to the operators' manual.

GPS CAPABILITIES

The GPS provides worldwide, 24-hour, all-weather, day or night coverage when the satellite constellation is complete. The GPS can locate the position of the user accurately to within 21 meters—95 percent of the time. However, the GPS has been known to accurately locate the position of the user within 8 to 10 meters. It can determine the distance and direction from the user to a programmed location or the distance between two programmed locations called way points. It provides exact date and time for the time zone in which the user is located. The data supplied by the GPS is helpful in performing several techniques, procedures, and missions that require soldiers to know their exact location. Some examples are:

  • Sighting
  • Surveying
  • Sensor or minefield emplacement
  • Forward observing
  • Close air support
  • Route planning and execution
  • Amphibious operations
  • Artillery and mortar emplacement
  • Fire support planning

GPS LIMITATIONS

A constellation of 24 satellites broadcasts precise signals for use by navigational sets. The satellites are arranged in six rings that orbit the earth twice each day. The GPS navigational signals are similar to light rays, so anything that blocks the light will reduce or block the effectiveness of the signals. The more unobstructed the view of the sky, the better the system performs.

GPS COMPATABILITY

All GPS receivers have primarily the same function, but the input and control keys vary between the different receivers. The GPS can reference and format position coordinates in any of the following systems:

  • Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS): Latitude/longitude-based system with position expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds.

  • Degrees, Minutes (DM): Latitude/longitude-based system with position expressed in degrees and minutes.

  • Universal Traverse Mercator (UTM): Grid zone system with the northing and easting position expressed in meters.

  • Military Grid Reference System (MGRS): Grid zone/grid square system with coordinates of position expressed in meters.

The following is a list of land navigation subjects from other sections of this manual in which GPS can be used to assist soldiers in navigating and map reading:

a. Grid Coordinates. GPS makes determining a 4-, 6- , 8-, and 10-digit grid coordinate of a location easy. On most GPS receivers, the position mode will give the user a 10-digit grid coordinate to their present location.

b. Distance and Direction. The mode for determining distance and direction depends on the GPS receiver being used. One thing the different types of receivers have in common is that to determine direction and distance, the user must enter at least one way point (WPT). When the receiver measures direction and distance from the present location or from way point to way point, the distance is measured in straight line only. Distance can be measured in miles, yards, feet, kilometers, meters, or nautical knots or feet. For determining direction, the user can select degrees, mils, or rads. Depending on the receiver, the user can select true north, magnetic north, or grid north.

c. Navigational Equipment and Methods. Unlike the compass, the GPS receiver when set on navigation mode (NAV) will guide the user to a selected way point by actually telling the user how far left or right the user has drifted from the desired azimuth. With this option, the user can take the most expeditious route possible, moving around an obstacle or area without replotting and reorienting.

d. Mounted Land Navigation. While in the NAV mode, the user can navigate to a way point using steering and distance, and the receiver will tell the user how far he has yet to travel, and at the current speed, how long it will take to get to the way point.

e. Navigation in Different Types of Terrain. The GPS is capable of being used in any terrain, especially more open terrain like the desert.

f. Unit Sustainment. The GPS can be used to read coordinates to quickly and accurately establish and verify land navigation courses.

Hiking Boots are all based on something called a 'last,' which is the solid plastic mould around which the boot is built. The last is an approximation of what the manufacturer assumes to be the average foot. An upper is formed around the last, and the segments are stitched together. These stitched areas are called seams. More seams allow a boot to fit more conclusively, they are also the weakest link and the first thing to blow out on the trail.
The thickness of the material used to make the upper is called the gauge. The leather will be either top-grain (formerly the outside skin of a cow) or 'other.' Virtually all mid-range to high quality boots use top-grain. The leather is either smooth-out or rough-out. Smooth-out is the skin side out; rough-out is 'inside out' if you will. Smooth-out is more stylish but less resistant to abrasion. If you want to look really cool at the ski lodge and limit your hiking to gentle trails, get smooth-out.
The upper is then attached to the sole. This is called 'welting,' and can be done in a variety of ways. The two basic styles of welting are 'turned in' and 'turned out.' On cheaper boots, the welting is done by vulcanizing (heat). Moving up, the best price/performance is welting with cement (an impressive euphemism for glue). The top of the ladder is welting by stitching the upper to the insole, and some employ stitching and cementing.
The part of the sole that your foot touches is the insole. The part under that is the midsole, which today is often made of foam. The bottom is the outsole. The harder the outsole material, the better it is for dirt and grass. A softer outsole is better for rock..pick your poison based on your hiking preferences, or if you can afford it, own a pair for each.


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09-12-2011

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