HEAT, HEFAT

Navigation Techniques

Navigation is key to success in any environment. Moving to and from a place of work to a place of rest requires the ability to navigate.

When local knowledge and guides cannot be used, it is down to the individual or group to be able to effectively move through their surroundings with purpose and direction.

Direction is achieved through training. The ability to use a GPS can have limited success in any environment as calibration errors, antenna malfunction or battery failure can quickly lead to disorientation. Using navigation techniques and methods, such as using a map and compass, are somewhat more reliable so long as the user has the knowledge to use them.

Purpose is achieved through the application of training. The ability to look ahead, predicting and avoiding hazards with planning, rather than reactive action, can reduce risk. This task cannot be achieved if information cannot be recognised or processed effectively.

When extreme situations or demands occur, sometimes it is necessary to understand the use of esoteric navigation techniques, requiring the individual or group to orientate using the sun, the stars and local natural indicators. In extreme environments, re-establishing direction and purpose can be the difference between life and death.