About Leadership Training: Navigation 

LTC's navigation events provide opportunities to learn the basics and to improve your knowledge of navigation techniques. Nav practice and checkoffs help LTC leader candidates achieve a Basic (I/M) Level navigation rating. With prior arrangement, advanced E-level practice and checkoffs are available to individuals who have passed the I/M level.

Here is the 2020 Navigation Calendar pdf. Note that due to COVID-19, all in-person events are cancelled. Contact the Navigation Chair about the virtual events. You can also check our Home page. Apply for an event in advance and find out more from Navigation Chair Bob Myers at


Prerequisites are an ability to read the principal features of a topo map and to use a Silva or Suunto-type mirrored compass for taking and plotting bearings. Some previous navigation experience is desirable, but beginners are welcome. For the checkoff, you must be familiar with commonly used Topo Symbols as found in Southern California mountaineering, desert, backpacking, and hiking areas. Cross-country travel and navigation in the desert or mountains will be required, along with some occasional easy travel on Class 2 terrain. For Advanced (E) level practice, you will use an Altimeter and will need to know and explain its functions and limitations. LTC candidates should review Ch. 6 in the current Leader’s Reference Book.  

Navigation with Bob Beach

Navigation Examiner Bob Beach teaching compass use in the field. 

Harry’s Tip #1:

Visual Scale.  For visual scale reference in the area traveled through on a 7.5 minute topo, draw a line 1 mile long (2.6") and divide 1" of it into 10 parts, each 1/10" long.  These building blocks of 1/10" equal 200 feet exactly.  

Here are Harry's Tips updated by Bob for 2019

Navigation Resources

See LTC Navigation Chair Bob Myers' Navigation Corner for an archive of Bob's articles on many nav topics. 

Mirror CompassThe Suunto MC-2 Mirror Compass, a recommended choice. Accurate bearings are key to good field navigation. To determine current declination, there are mobile apps; in a browser you can find it by clicking on your location on a map on the Magnetic Declination site. If you don't know what this means, come to a Beginner's Navigation event held in Fall and Spring, and/or arrange with Navigation Chair to attend a practice during the year. Or consider taking the Wilderness Travel Course, offered once a year, where learning how to stay found is a key component.

  • Want pointers on Provisionals? What we expect from your route-finding demonstrations? See this excerpt from LRB: Pointers on Provisionals.