Master Navigator Course
Elite-level Land Navigation Training
The ability to effectively navigate is one of the most important skills anyone can have in the backcountry. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to their wilds of choice to enjoy some form of outdoor recreation. Thousands of them also become lost, requiring considerable Search and Rescue efforts to either locate them and bring them back to safety, or worse, recover them because they were not found in time.
Many sources cite “too much reliance on technology” or not having basic map reading and land navigation skills or tools to begin with. Technology can and will fail. It often requires a signal and batteries, and should never be relied on as your sole means of navigating.
This Master Navigator course is designed to bring your skills up to the same level as the Army Rangers and Green Berets, and then keep taking you beyond even their level of training. There is none better suited to train you to that level than someone who was both a Ranger and a Green Beret, as well as a trainer of Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy Special Operations Forces.
Master Navigator is meant to pull you away from reliance on technology and teach you critical map reading and land navigation skills that will prevent you from ever becoming lost, and enable you to find yourself easily if you ever do. Not only that, but the ability to navigate confidently and effectively, day or night, opens up a whole new world that is only available off the beaten path. The wilderness is a much larger place when you aren’t stuck following the blazes on the trail.
This is a custom course that is only available once per year at this time. This 4-day/3-night course will be mentally and physically challenging with long days and several kilometers per day to walk with necessary gear. You will learn foundational skills with a map and compass, followed by learning to do without a map using the PAUL system of self-mapping (developed by an Army Special Forces unit member), and finally, learning to do it all without the aid of a compass using solar, lunar, and celestial techniques. Day and night navigation iterations are included. Despite the challenge, it will be a highly rewarding experience that gives you a level of confidence and training that cannot be gained elsewhere.
Master Navigator Students will learn:
- Basic Map Reading
- Understanding and Using Declination
- Land Navigation by Dead Reckoning and Terrain Association
- Locating Unknown Points and Finding Yourself if Lost
- Understanding GPS Navigation
- Navigating with Altimeters
- The PAUL System of Self-Mapping
- Field Expedient Direction Finding
- Solar, Celestial, and Lunar Navigation Techniques
- Night Navigation
- Ranger School Land Nav Course
- Green Beret Star Course
Students will navigate on a course similar to that which is used at the US Army Ranger School. The culminating exercise closely mirrors the US Army Special Forces Star Course, a requirement that all aspiring Green Beret’s must complete. Get ready to take your ability to navigate to the highest level taught inside or outside the military and Special Operations Forces.
There are no prerequisite courses for the Master Navigator Course. It is all-inclusive and highly focused to take you from beginner to Master Navigator.
The Master Navigator Course is part of the GB2 Instructor Program. Registered Instructor Candidates will receive credit for this portion of the program upon completion.
This is a physically demanding course. Expect to walk anywhere from 5-15km per day with additional night iterations of 3-6km. Due to the roving nature of this course, all gear must be carried during the navigation exercises since you will likely not stay in the same base camp each night. Please arrive in good physical shape for this course. Food is not provided, and there is little time to prepare meals between iterations, so on-the-go food and snacks are the best choice.
This course will be held in Uwharrie National Forest, NC.
Please see our cancellation policy HERE
Is there required gear?
Yes, and it must be carried throughout the course. Please see the link above for details. Also, do not arrive with brand new footwear. Footwear must be properly broken in prior to the course start if you expect success.
Will we have a basecamp?
Yes, but you will still be required to carry all gear on all navigation exercises and the base camp location may vary daily.
How far do we walk?
You should be prepared (well in advance of the course) to walk with your gear upwards of 20k per day, every day. Most students average about 20k per day, but this can vary significantly depending on individual route planning or mistakes made in the field. Measure twice, cut once is no joke during land nav!