Basic Military Land Navigation

Our Basic Military Land Navigation course is geared towards military personnel and those in the enlistment pipeline, with little to no prior training, who must learn the fundamentals of this crucial operational skill.

This course teaches the fundamentals of land navigation to a broad mix of service personnel.  The bulk are heading to U.S. Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS), Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP), and Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS), but we’ve also worked with Marines preparing for the Basic Reconnaissance Course, Sailors advancing to the Land Warfare phase of BUD/S, pilots who wish to refresh their ground skills, and even federal law enforcement agents getting ready for a special operations group selection.  We’ve worked with most ranks, from enlisted personnel — including those preparing for enlistment — to senior commissioned officers.

Elias H., U.S. Army

Our training will provide you the skills and knowledge to prepare for the land navigation phases of your upcoming selection or assessment, then function wherever your mission requires.  Your training will begin in the “classroom,” then transition to a series of field sessions as you progress through Crawl, Walk, and Run phases over increasing distances.  The emphasis will be on dead-reckoning with an introduction to terrain association and route-planning.  Throughout, our instructors will actively guide and coach you so that not only will you understand the How, but the Why, so that you can take your skills and knowledge to the next level and beyond.

Cody W., U.S. Army

We offer this training in two formats. Either as a 2-Day / 1-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 needs, goals, timeframes, and budget.  If you would like to consider this latter option, then contact us.

Among the many topics that you will study during a mix of various “classroom” and field sessions, you will learn about:

  • Gear such as topographic map, mil-spec lensatic compass, and protractor.
  • Declination.
  • Navigating techniques using dead-reckoning and the foundations of terrain association and route-planning.
  • Tools such as pace counting, hand-rails, boxing-out, search techniques.
  • Introduction to Night navigation.
  • Coordinate systems (UTM & MGRS)
  • Navigation psychology.

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

  • Course Duration: 2-Day / 1- Night (approximately 18 hours of instruction).
  • Start / End Times: 0900 Day One / 1600 Day Two
  • Fee: $500 per person.
  • Location: Quebec Run Wild Area (see below for more detail).
  • Maximum Group Size: 10
  • Minimum Group Size: The course requires a minimum of four 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.
  • Description of Instructors’ Expectation:  Our instructors are well known for their teaching skill, patience, and ability to adapt to each individual client’s particular needs and learning styles.  Our instructors also expect that each client will adhere to the high personal and professional standard that is, or will be, demanded of them as a military professional.
  • 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 about one particular hotel that is conveniently located, reasonably priced, and clean.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Is this course open to LEOs?  This training is also available to all sworn law enforcement professionals.  Prior clients include federal agents preparing for their agency’s special operation group as well as members of state and municipal special response teams who are looking to broaden their skill base.

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.

What if I already have prior land navigation training and experience?  You may want to consider our Advanced Military Land Navigation course.  If you are aren’t sure, or if you want to discuss which course may be best for you, please telephone Erik at 412.913.600.

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 — Which is why Quebec Run and the surrounding region is also used by the U.S. special operations community to train and conduct its own assessments.

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 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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