Old 03-23-2017, 18:28   #1
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Fort Bragg
Posts: 10
Post DIY Land Navigation

After giving up on trying to find a land navigation course that I can practice on at Fort Bragg, I've started searching for information so that I can create my own land navigation / dead reckoning course in order to practice my land navigation skills. During my search I've ran across two sources of information that I believe to be worth sharing on this forum. The first website is http://www.mytopo.com/index.cfm. This website allows you to create maps of anywhere in the world that want using UTM/MGRS grid spacing 1000 meters. The cost per map is about 16.00$ plus shipping. The second site that I've found is https://mappingsupport.com (click on -Open Default Gmap 4 map) its basically google maps with Mytopo added on. This site allows to you views google maps through Mytopo terrain which will give you an 8 digit grid coordinate for where your mouse tip is pointing. These two websites are what I will use to create my own course. I will not be using a GPS so I will not have actual points to find but for now I will just hit intersections, terrain features, and well defined locations. Just wanted to pass the information along.

Last edited by MH60; 03-28-2017 at 09:42.
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Old 04-08-2017, 17:09   #2
SC Pete
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Hey 60, good drive. From what I understand they really weakened the land nav standards in the Q. BUT... as an instructor, arguing to higher, what happens when their batteries die (GPS), and a B-52 needs co-ords for a 2000lb JDAM? KNOW HOW TO READ A MAP!!! And just for fun, try a night move, no compass, only stars. We did a E&E exercise once over 100 miles (seemed like 1000!) w/ nothing. Just a "go south until you hit the __ river, then move east until the _ farm" Was fun, actually. And there was OPFOR, so we couldn't be sloppy. I commend you for striving to be better than most.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:32   #3
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Fort Bragg
Posts: 10
Exclamation Update

I have the grid coordinates and custom map to a small sized land navigation course that is located on Fort Bragg. The course is not in a training area nor is it associated with the SWC. The course includes good containment, staked numbered points, and a good size draw. The maximum distance you can create between points is about 1,400 meters (as a crow flies). Its a good course to train your dead reckoning skills and confidence. If your in the Fort Bragg area and are interested is practicing your land navigation training P.M. me and I'll hook you up.

Last edited by MH60; 05-09-2017 at 11:06.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:36   #4
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2
DIY land nav app for Garmin Watches


This post is my contribution to the group effort to learn land nav better. I own a bunch of Ranger Rick books and in some of them he talks about building land nav courses for Soldiers to train on. I wrote an app for Garmin watches for DIY land nav, and I hope it's useful just like some of those articles in those old Ranger Rick books.

The app is "datafield" for the newer generation Garmin GPS watches, which means it runs whenever you run an activity. It is free (no in-app purchases or ads) and the source code is also posted online so many of you might be able to make it better. Unfortunately it isn't super easy to use for someone looking to immediately go out and use it, but it should work okay once you set it up and understand how it works.


Once you install it, you plug in the boundary of the park/nature area you're at, and it'll give you a random point to go to (or tell you distance and direction). Once you arrive at that random point the watch will beep and you press lap, and it will present you with another random point to go to. If you encounter impassable terrain you can press a key combination to have the app provide you with a different point to go to.

There are some other options, and some technical know-how is required in order to install it and "upload" the boundary data to the watch, but it shouldn't be too difficult.


It can only take a limited number of boundary points due to the size of the app (fewer points is better, ideally less than 8, over 10 and you're pushing it).

Another cautionary note is that many military printed maps out there use old datum (like from 1927), which means the MGRS data on your map may differ from the GPS on google maps or your watch (the correct data). This means that when the watch gives you an MGRS to go to, you may mis-plot it on your map. three solutions to this are: (1) get newer maps, (2) figure out the X and Y offset and apply those differences to the MGRS coord given by the app and then plot it and locate it with your map, or (3) set the app so it shows self-correcting distance and direction, and skip the map or plot it using distance and direction instead of MGRS.


This app should be useful for practicing dead reckoning and practicing pace count! Finally, check out "Orienteering" it's good cardio and a lot of fun. It's also a good way to improve at terrain association and picking your route!

link to app in garmin store - Also some basic information about what this app does here.

link to instructions in garmin forums (instructions as of May 2017 also attached to this post as pdf file)

link to sourcecode in github
Attached Files
File Type: pdf LandNav Instructions May 2017.pdf (285.8 KB, 38 views)

Last edited by mbqfxw; 05-26-2017 at 22:04. Reason: posted introduction, thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:01   #5
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Sounds pretty cool. Your first post should not be here, however. Please comply with forum rules and post an introduction before posting again.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:02   #6
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Originally Posted by SF718 View Post
why don't you PM the kid for a warning?
Because a politely phrased "warning" on an open forum communicates an important message about protocol/expectations to the hundreds of other individuals who will eventually read it.
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

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Old 07-12-2017, 13:18   #7
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Fort Bragg
Posts: 10
Area J

If anyone is interested I have the points for area J located on Fort Bragg.
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