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Practical Application of Navigation, Tips, and Considerations

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Consideration: Terrain Association When Planning Routes

When navigating you may consider moving along easily identifiable terrain features like roads. Using roads and road intersections as checkpoints are a great way to increase movement speed and cut down time walking on an azimuths. We do not recommend getting overly comfortable with road movements. Continue to keep an awareness of the direction being traveled and the distance covered at all times to ensure you stay on the right track. Care should be used when terrain associating with other features like streams and other bodies of water as seasonal changes may affect the obviousness of these features.

Consideration: Bypassing Obstacles

When moving in the field, you will rarely be able to move in a straight path without obstacles. Things like thick vegetation or bodies of water may require you to maneuver around them. This should be done in a measured approach. To bypass obstacles and still stay oriented, detour around the obstacle by moving at right angles for specified distances.

In the example below, you are moving on the azimuth of 90 degrees and encounter an obstacle. To navigate this scenario, you would change the azimuth to 180 degrees and travel 100 m, change the azimuth to 90 degrees and travel for 150 m, and then change the azimuth to 360 degrees (also referred to as 0 degrees) and travel for 100 m. Finally, you would change the azimuth to 90 degrees to return to the original line of navigation. Note that degrees and distances will vary depending on the scenario, but the concepts of navigating should be similar. (See Figure 8-5.)

Land Navigation Simulator

The simulator below is a tool that can be used to practice land navigation virtually.

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with this simulator. You will be leaving our website to the link below. Click the link to access the simulator:

Land Navigation Podcasts

TLR Podcast # 22: Dan is Sick with the Land Nav Skills!

Click the image to access the podcast:

TLR Podcast #23: Dan and Jay's Tips for Not Getting Lost in the Woods!

Click the image to access the podcast:


Headquarters, Department of the Army. (2013). Map Reading and Land Navigation (FM 3-25.26).

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