A helpful tip from Dick Meadows on Land Nav

BirdUp

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I was reading a biography on him recently and he purportedly used his ankles to detect gradient of contour lines in dense jungle/foliage conditions when major terrain features were not ID-able due to fauna.

It seems obvious and intuitive... but I’m still nerding out about it.

Thoughts? Any other good tactile/inertial navigation techniques?
 

Gunz

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I’ve spent some time navigating jungle environments in Southeast Asia and Central America as a Marine and as a civilian...and I’m not sure I understand the “ankle” aspect.

To me it’s feel with feet and legs—ok, ankles are part of that—and sight during daylight and using all that and arms and hearing at night. In parts of Central America the jungle is incredibly dense and the terrain beneath it like an accordion, with steep, muddy ridges, deep ravines with rocks and rushing water, incredibly dangerous traversing in pitch darkness without the complete function of all the senses. I’ve been through it, for days and nights. It can take many hours to go short distances.

There is no easy or fast way to get through the jungle unless you find a trail. Usually you have to make your own.
 
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BirdUp

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I’ve spent some time navigating jungle environments in Southeast Asia and Central America as a Marine and as a civilian...and I’m not sure I understand the “ankle” aspect.

To me it’s feel with feet and legs—ok, ankles are part of that—and sight during daylight and using all that and arms and hearing at night. In parts of Central America the jungle is incredibly dense and the terrain beneath it like an accordion, with steep, muddy ridges, deep ravines with rocks and rushing water, incredibly dangerous traversing in pitch darkness without the complete function of all the senses. I’ve been through it, for days and nights. It can take many hours to go short distances.

There is no easy or fast way to get through the jungle unless you find a trail. Usually you have to make your own.
The ankle aspect can be directly applied in this way:

Using a platform style yoga ball (one end is ball/one is flat) and a level (preferably digital, heck even a smart phone level would work,):

you simulate a full 90 degrees of slopes on your ankles and spend time familiarizing what degree 1-90 feels like flexing/bending your ankles. After this, you can do ratios of contour lines to define angles of slopes (or vector calculus if you know it).

Bam: you have now turned your ankles into precise slope monitoring instruments. If you feel like you’re on a 15 degree slope, check your map and compass and see if that sounds right, etc.
 

Gunz

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Interesting.

I never had a real problem assessing the angle of slope I was climbing or descending, even if most of the slope was obscured by vegetation. Equilibrium, I suppose.
 
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