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Land navigation requires the use of many tools; the more experienced the navigators, the more tools they will use. Obvious examples of the simpler tools available are the protractor, map, compass, and pace count. Less obvious examples, that will take experience to appreciate, are the terrain, sun, stars, the direction water flows, wildlife, etc. As with any skill, proficiency in land navigation is based upon a firm knowledge of basic tools.


Land navigation is a skill-set which takes time and practice in order to become proficient and confident. Basic mastery of the tools of land navigation — map, compass, and protractor — is absolutely necessary in order to ensure our success.

In This Lesson                     

This lesson is devoted to two of the most basic tools: the lensatic compass and your pace count (you have already been exposed to the protractor and map). The intent of this lesson is to ensure students are prepared for follow on classroom and field instruction in land navigation.

This lesson covers the following topics:

Topic Page
Lensatic Compass 4
Maintenance and Care 6
Compass Techniques 8
Pace Count 10
Basic Navigation Techniques 11
Review Questions 16
Review Questions Answers 21
Summary 23
References 23
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms 23
Notes 23