Written by 5:26 pm Wilderness Navigation Masters

29) How to guarantee arriving at your destination

Hello and welcome to this lesson of the online course Wilderness Navigation Masters, where you will learn how to increase your chances of arriving at your destination successfully.

Why you should learn this technique?

You should learn this technique, because following a bearing, even after 10 years of experience in the wilderness, you will still miss your destination, from time to time.

This is human nature, we need tools to help us walk in a straight line, and techniques to arrive at destinations, without putting ourselves at risk.

Why we are not that good at this?

Because we are not precise when we take a bearing and also when we walk following it.

But how can we still master wilderness navigation with these human limitations?


The first technique consists of making an intentional walking deviation to the left or to the right to reach your destination.

You will ask me, how an intentional mistake will help me to arrive successfully at my destination?

Ok, let’s see this example.

[Skip video to 1:11]


In this map excerpt, we are here in this vegetation area, and part of our hike consists of reaching this intersection.

I think we agree that, if you shoot and follow a direct bearing to this intersection, there is more chances of missing it by going to the left or to the right.

The problem that you will face being here is, should you take right or left to arrive at this intersection.

I think you’ve started seeing where I am going.

The intentional mistake technique consists of choosing a right or left walking deviation, so when you reach a linear landmark you know which direction to follow.

You will need to apply this technique too much when you try to navigate in the wilderness.

How to apply this?

It depends on your situation. if you are walking in a dense forest, you can just start detouring trees by one side (right or left) to make this intentional mistake.

But if at the same time you will walk for a long distance in this forest, keeping doing that will make this mistake too much bigger, and you will lose time to arrive, or mistaking your arrival point when there is another one like that.

So what you should do is just a little intentional deviation, below 10°.

This is a technique that increases your chances of arriving at your destination successfully, but what to do in order to avoid getting lost when you miss your arrival landmark?



[Skip video to 2:38]


Like you’ve seen before, you should always get to your destination from a direction, where even if you miss it, you still have some linear landmark behind it in order to stop you.

And when I advise you to use a linear landmark, you are not limited to only rivers and creeks … you can also use electric power lines, roads, valleys, etc.

In addition to that, what I want you to start using also, is the imaginary lines.

For example, you are here at this point and you want to arrive at this pond, and you have a mountain here, that you can see wherever you are in this map excerpt, or at least from your route to your destination.

What you can do, is to measure the foreward bearing from your destination to this mountain. Let’s say you found 320°, now you can use the intentional walking deviation technique to this side, and when you feel that you’ve started approaching your destination, you shoot a foreward bearing to this mountain, if it’s below 320°, that means you should still walk a little bit.

When you get a foreward bearing of 320° to the mountain, walk to your left/right to arrive at your destination.


[skip the video to 4:09]


In this lesson’s exercise, I want you to tell how can you apply these two techniques of the intentional deviation mistake and the imaginary linear stop landmark, to arrive at this place here, if you are starting here.



[skip the video to 4:31]


Answer :

Step 1: imagine a line that goes on our campground through this mountain peak.

Step 2: measure the forward bearing from this campground to the mountain peak.

In this case, it’s a bearing of 280°.

Step 3: measure your bearing to the campground and add 10°, to create an intentional mistake.

In this case, it’s 340 + 10°.

Step 4: start walking following this bearing of 350°, and when you feel that you’ve started reaching this imaginary line, measure the bearing to the mountain peak.

When it equals 280°, that means you are on this line and all you have to do is to walk to your left till you found the campground.

That’s all for this lesson.

How did you found these two techniques? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you and see you in the next lesson.

Updated on June 7, 2021 by Ben

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