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Different types of navigation

Compass navigation orienteering

Navigation is a skill that every prepper should know. The why’s are obvious: it will help you when your phone is dead and won’t turn on because there is no power. However, there is more than one type of navigation technique, and being able to master all of them will help you advance your prepping journey. Learning these techniques is a relatively easy and doable task. It can also be a good bonding activity for you and your family.

Celestial navigation

Celestial navigation is exactly what it sounds like. You use celestial bodies to help find your way around a certain area. This is not the most reliable form of navigation, because it requires clear skies to be able to find the sextant, otherwise known as the angle in which you position yourself between two celestial bodies. This is a great tool to use when no others tools are available, however, it does have its drawbacks – especially when wet weather or clouds set in for a couple of weeks. In either case, everyone should attempt to learn some of it. Especially if they are going out to sea, where there are no landmarks.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

This is probably the most accessible form of navigation there is, and the easiest to use. It is in our cars, our phones and our computers. It is in every type of technology that we get nowadays. This system of navigation relies on a master control station as well as monitor stations and control antennas. These transmit signals which the GPS receiver uses to mathematically calculate a users position. These are great for everyday, however, it is important to not rely completely on them. Technology does not always work. So it is important to be familiar with all different types of navigation in the case of a technological failure during a disaster.

Compasses (Orienteering)

This is one of the oldest forms of navigation, and still one that is heavily used to this day. Not many people know how to read a map or use a compass, however, these are skills that everyone needs to know. Even when it is cloudy, an old fashioned compass will never let you down. We will get into how to use one of these in a later blog. For now, what you should know is that there are multiple options on the market, including ones we carry, that have sturdy protections that will save you from scary situations. The lesson is: always have one, and know how to use it! You can pair it with a GPS system but it is a good back up if your GPS were to ever fail.

In short, knowing how to use different types of navigation may save your life, especially if you are in an area without landmarks. This is the less glamorous side of prepping, but completely necessary.

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