Advanced Military Land Navigation

Our Advanced Military Land Navigation course is geared towards service personnel who want to enhance their land navigation skills over very challenging terrain, both day and night.

This training is open only to service members with an existing competence in land navigation.  Some are transitioning to special operations, but many are already serving in a special mission role.  Prior clients include Soldiers in Army Special Forces and Sailors from the Navy Special Warfare.  Most are taking this course to prepare for a Tier 1 selection.

Sailor  preparing for a long walk in West Virginia.

At True North, we stress the fundamentals. We will fine-tune your ability to dead-reckon over moderate distances as we transition to terrain association and route-planning.  We appreciate that your skills may be rusty since you’ve been primarily using electronic tools to move overland (or underwater) between points day and night, or your mission role doesn’t require navigation tasks, so we will review additional basics as needed.

We don’t expect that you’ll need to start from scratch or unduly slow the training of the group.   If you want some direction about this course and your present ability, we strongly recommend that you telephone True North at 412.913.6000 to discuss.

True North Training Location – Click to Enlarge.

Our checkpoint course is definitely not the typical one commonly found on a military installation.  Our training site is located in Quebec Run Wild Area, a 7,441 acre protected wilderness preserve, located on the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Pennsylvania, near the West Virginia border.  The emphasis of your training will be in the field — much of it solo — becoming appropriately more challenging and advanced.  You will see none of our more than 60 checkpoints off in the distance, nor will you be able to simply follow a well worn path to any one.  The distance between points can be as little as 150 meters to more than 7,000 meters, much of it over steep and rugged terrain hindered by boulders and dense vegetation.  This is probably one reason why Quebec Run and the surrounding region is also used by the special operations community at a near-by military facility to conduct its own specialized training and assessment.

We offer this training in two formats. Either as a 2-Day / 2-Night open-registration course that we post on our Schedule, or as private instruction that can be run for one or more clients in various timeframes to best accommodate their needs, goals, timeframes, and budget.  For safety, you will be fitted with a satellite-communicator that, among other features, allows us to track you.

Here is an overview of the open-registration, group program:

  • Course Duration: 2-Day / 2-Night (approximately 22 hours of instructional time).
  • Start / End Times: 0900 Day One /  2300 Day Two (Conclusion is approximate depending on the season).
  • Fee: $750 per person.
  • Location: Quebec Run Wild Area (see below for more detail).
  • Maximum Group Size: 4
  • Minimum Group Size: The course requires a minimum of three persons to run this training.  If we are unable to meet this size, True North will fully refund your payment with as much advance notice as possible.
  • Description of Physical Difficulty – Moderate to Strenuous:  This course involves hiking with laden backpacks over varying distances at a steady pace over varying terrain that will include off-trail sections, rough spots, unexpected obstacles, and low to steep terrain inclines and declines.  This course is conducted in varying weather conditions, including hot, cold, humid, rain, and snow, or a mixed combination.  This is a physically challenging course so it is best suited for those in very good physical condition and ready for a fast paced day.
  • Overnight Accommodation:  You can chose to either spend the night in the woods at the training area or stay in a local hotel or home-share.  Once you register for the course, we will provide more detailed information with recommendations.

If you would like to consider private training for yourself or your group, contact us so that we can offer you options and issues to consider, like pricing and availability, even online coaching. 

Commonly Asked Questions:

What happens when I register?   We will personally follow up with you to explain the steps needed to finalize your booking.  Once we receive your completed forms, we will send you a detailed course information sheet which will contain all of the applicable details, like required and recommended gear, exact gathering point, and general driving directions.

I’ve already completed another True North land navigation course, may I register for this one?  If you’ve taken our Advanced Land Navigation or Basic Military Land Navigation course, you potentially may be able to register for this course, but telephone Erik (412.913.6000) to discuss before you register.

True North Training Area – Click to Enlarge.

Where is Quebec Run Wild Area located?  Quebec Run Wild Area is a 7,441 acre preserve within Forbes State Forest, located roughly 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, along the West Virginia border, on the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains.  The vegetation, terrain, and climate spans the mix from open, easy, and pleasant to dense, strenuous, and harsh.  This training area, then, provides an appropriate learning environment from the novice to the highly skilled.

Are bathroom facilities available during the course? Since Quebec Run is a designated “wilderness area” there is no infrastructure whatsoever, including toilets.

What kind of gear do I need to bring?  After you register for the course, True North will send you a course information sheet which will contain all of the program details, including a detailed list of required and optional gear.  Our goal is to help balance what you need to get the most safely out of your training against minimizing your costs.

Do you loan any equipment?  We can loan you a mil-spec lensatic compass and protractor during your training.  We also make some additional equipment and supplies available for your convenience which we sell at-cost.

To learn more, contact us at your convenience.


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