Part One
  Map Reading


  Reading Topographical Maps Introduction 1. HOME

  Topographical Maps - Definition, Purpose and Categories 2. Maps

  Information in the margins of an army map 3. Marginal Information    and Symbols

  Latitude, Longitude and Other Methods to Locate Points on Topographic Maps 4. Grids

  Translating Distance on a Topographic Map to Distance on the Ground 5. Scale and Distance

  Grid North, Azimuth, Declination And Other Concepts Used To Find Direction With Topographic Maps 6. Direction

  Overlays - Used Primarily In Army Map Reading 7. Overlays

  Aerial Photographs - Supplements And Substitutes For Topographic Maps 8. Aerial Photographs

 Part Two
  Land Navigation


  Using Compass, GPS, Sun, Shadows, and Stars in Land Navigation 9. Navigation Equipment    and Methods

  Reading The Shape Of The Land In Topographic Maps 10. Elevation and Relief

  Orienting and Navigating With Topographic Maps 11. Terrain Association

  Mounted Land Navigating With Motorized Vehicles 12. Mounted Land    Navigation

  Land Navigation In Different Types of Terrain 13. Navigation in    Different Types of    Terrain



  Sketching Topographic Maps A. Field Sketching

  Folding Topographic Maps B. Map Folding     Techniques

  Units of Measure and Conversion Factors Used in Reading Topographic Maps C. Units of Measure and      Conversion Factors

  Units of Measure and Conversion Factors Used in Reading Topographic Maps D. Joint Operations      Graphics

  US Army Training Material for Map Reading and Land Navigation E. Exportable Training      Material

  Orienteering F. Orienteering

  US Army M2 Compass G. M2 Compass

  Additional Aids such as Night Vision Goggles and Global Positioning System or GPS H. Additional Aids      (GPS, Night Vision)

  Global Positioning System -  GPS J. Global Positioning      System - GPs

 

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12-3. MOVEMENT

When preparing to move, the effects of terrain on navigating mounted vehicles must be determined. You will cover great distances very quickly, and you must develop the ability to estimate the distance you have traveled. Remember that 0.1 mile is roughly 160 meters, and 1 mile is about 1,600 meters or 1.6 kms. Having a mobility advantage helps while navigating. Mobility makes it much easier if you get disoriented to move to a point where you can reorient yourself.

NOTE: To convert kmph to mph, multiply by .62. (9 kmph x .62 = 5.58 mph). To convert mph to kmph, divide mph by .62 (10 mph 0.62 = 16.12 kmph).

a.   Consider Vehicle Capabilities. When determining a route to be used when mounted, consider the capabilities of the vehicles to be used. Most military vehicles are limited in the degree of slope they can climb and the type of terrain they can negotiate. Swamps, thickly wooded areas, or deep streams may present no problems to dismounted soldiers, but the same terrain may completely stop mounted soldiers. The navigator must consider this when selecting a route.

(1)   Most vehicles will knock down a tree. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the tree it can knock down. Vehicles cannot knock down several trees at once. It is best to find paths between trees that are wide enough for your vehicle. Military vehicles are designed to climb 60 percent slopes on a dry, firm surface (Figure 12-1).

Figure 12-1. Reading Topographic Maps - Tracked vehicle capabilities.

Figure 12-1. Tracked vehicle capabilities.

(2)   You can easily determine approximate slope; just look at the route you have selected. If there is a contour line in any 100 meters of map distance on that route, it is a 10 percent slope. If there are two contour lines, it is 20 percent, and so forth. If there are four contour lines in any 100 meters, look for another route.

(3)   Side slope is even more important than the slope you can climb. Normally, a 30 percent slope is the maximum in good weather. If you traverse a side slope, do it slowly and without turns. Rocks, stumps, or sharp turns can cause you to throw the downhill track under the vehicle, which would mean a big recovery task.

(4)   For tactical reasons, you will often want to move in draws or valleys because they give you cover. However, side slopes force you to move slowly.

NOTE: The above figures are true for a 10-meter or a 20-foot contour interval. If the map has a different contour interval, just adjust the arithmetic. For instance, with one contour line in 100 meters, a 20-meter interval would give a 20 percent slope.

b.   Know the Effects of Weather on Vehicle Movement. Weather can halt mounted movement. Snow and ice are obvious dangers, but more significant is the effect of rain and snow on soil load-bearing ability. Cross-country vehicles may be restricted to road movement in heavy rain. If it has rained recently, adjust your route to avoid flooded or muddy areas. A mired vehicle only hinders combat capability.

c.   Prepare Before Movement. Locate the start point and finish point on the map. Determine the map's grid azimuth from start point to finish point and convert it to a magnetic azimuth. Determine the distance between the start point and finish point or any intermediate points on the map and make a thorough map reconnaissance of that area.


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Books

Map Reading and Land Navigation Buy the book this website is based on: Map Reading and Land Navigation

This website is based on the US Army Field Manual: "Map Reading and Land Navigation" Buy a copy from Amazon.com to take with you out in the field.

 

Book Review - Be Expert with Map and Compass

One of the best ways to learn and become proficient in any subject is to find a way to make a game or sport of it. That's exactly what orienteering does! Orienteering began to develop almost 100 years ago in the Scandinavian countries as a fun and effective method for military training in land navigation. Bjorn Kjellstrom was closely involved with the early development of orienteering, and he is the person who introduced the sport to North America. He, along with his brother Alvar, and a friend named Gunnar Tillander, invented the modern orienteering compass. They manufactured and marketed it as the Silva Protractor compass. This compass, along with Bjorn's book Be Expert with Map and Compass, made it much easier for anyone to learn how to use a map and compass.

This book has become the most widely read classic on the subject of map reading, compass use, and orienteering. Over 500,000 copies have been sold in the english language editions alone. There have been very successful editions published in French, Italian, and other languages as well. It is a short (just over 200 pages), easy to read, enjoyable book that can help you to have fun while you learn the subject quickly and effectively.

The book is organized into four main parts, plus a short, useful introduction. Part 1 covers having fun with maps alone. Then, Part 2 covers having fun with a compass alone. Part 3 puts it together and shows you how to have fun with a map and compass together. This section also introduces the game or sport of orienteering. Part 4 covers competitive orienteering for those who would like to compete with others in the sport.

A reproduction of a segment of an actual topographic map is included as a fold-out in the back of the book. It is used together with the "how-to" instructions the book provides. For example, one of the exercises in Part 3 is an imaginary orienteering "hike" that uses the sample map.

If you would like to have one of the best books available on map reading and using a compass, Be Expert with Map and Compass is hard to beat. You can buy a copy from Amazon.com today.

Read a book review of Agincourt

Boat Navigation For The Rest of Us
  Boat Navigation For The Rest of Us

Basic Coastal Navigation
  Basic Coastal Navigation