SAR Fundamentals/Navigation/Overview


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[edit] Subject

What is this lesson plan about?

Provides an overview of the navigation objectives of SAR Fundamentals.

[edit] Authors

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Brett Wuth

[edit] Scope

What is included in this lesson, what's not and why.

This lesson summarizes what navigation skills the students are expected to gain over the several days of SAR Fundamentals.

This lesson is an introduction to Navigation for SAR Fundamentals students. It is part of a larger 8 hour series of lessons.

SAR Fundamentals Manual: Ch.13 "Navigation"
Basic SAR Skills Manual: Ch.7 "Navigation"

[edit] Prerequisites

What should students already know/have accomplished before the lesson is presented.

[edit] Objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson the participants:

  1. will be able to list the navigation skills a SAR worker should have

[edit] Time Plan

Total Time: 15 minutes

Why we navigate

  • people get lost due to poor navigation, not us
  • describe where you searched

Time Material


3 min

Introduce topic title

Introduce Instructor

Present Objectives


3 min

  • Navigation is essential skill for Search and Rescue workers
  • Knowing where you are
  • Being able to find yourself on a map
  • Being able to tell someone else where you are
  • Being able to describe where something is that you see
  • Understanding where you are asked to go
  • Being able to plan a route to get there

One of the most common problems in the field are searchers not being able to state where they are, followed by searcher headed in the wrong direction.


5 min

  • We will get you from novice to intermediate skills.

Intermediate skills:

  • map reading
    • being able to recognize the symbols and shadings on a topo map
    • reading the elevation and shape of land
    • choosing a route based on features of the land
    • UTM - stating a location in terms of numbers
    • measuring distance on a map
    • measuring direction on a map
    • triangulation
  • Field measurements
    • pacing distances
    • using a compass
    • using a GPS for finding your location


2 min

Advanced skills - not part of SAR Fundamentals:

  • GPS waypoints, tracks, uploading and downloading
  • latitude and longitude
  • Legal Land Description, Road Numbering System, Municipal Approach Numbering System


1 min

  • Navigation training is split over several days
  • You will lose your skills if you do not practice them.

[edit] Aids

What materials are needed or useful in presenting this lesson.

What materials are needed or useful in presenting this lesson.

  • slides of topo maps

[edit] Question bank

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See Question bank

[edit] Frequently Asked Questions

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[edit] Feedback

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[edit] License

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Copyright © 2012-2013, Brett Wuth.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

[edit] Reference Material

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[edit] Notes

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[edit] To Do

(review: Brett Wuth)

  • get Chris' slides
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