Navigation Lessons #6 & #7: Aiming Off & Catching Features

Navigation Lesson #6

Aiming off is another navigation strategy you can employ. Aiming off means deliberately aiming to one side of a feature on or near to confidently predict which side it will appear on. For example, if you aim right at a bend on a stream, but don’t see it when you hit the stream, you won’t know whether to go upstream or downstream to look for it. You are hedging your bets by purposely being inaccurate to eliminate one side of the checkpoint.

Navigation Lesson #7

Catching Features or Backstops is another navigation strategy. Before the race or as you are moving toward a checkpoint, identify obvious features a short distance beyond the checkpoint that, when you arrive at them, tell you you’ve gone too far. They are “catching” you before you travel well beyond the checkpoint. Trails, roads, fences, streams, ditches, ridge lines, power lines, fields and other obvious changes in vegetation all make for good backstops.

In this example, Bullhead Lake acts as a huge back stop. Once you see it, you know you are on the right ridge above it. Follow along the ridge and once the lake ends, you are at your attack point. Take a bearing and you now have a very short and easy bushwhack to CP B.