Using Attack Points

When you are in more difficult terrain and following a compass bearing for long distances, it can get more and more unreliable as an accurate aid for direction. This is where using attack points can be very useful.

An attack point is an obvious feature located near the control that can be easily located on the map and in the terrain and used as a jumping-off point to locate the control with careful navigation.




Using an Attack Point

Let's say you are moving from Control 3 (a re-entrant) towards Control 4 (a steep pit) in open forest. 

You could choose to do a compass bearing directly from Control 3, but there are really obvious handrails so it would likely be speedier to run along the trail until you get closer to the control.  

Once you get to the intersection of trails, this becomes your attack point. The feature is obvious and you know exactly where you are before you step off-trail. Now you can use your compass to measure a bearing and move swiftly to the control.


Attack points have several advantages. They are easy to find so you can you use speedier navigation techniques (like running along a handrail) to get close to the control. They help confirm where you are so you know you are on the correct track with your compass bearing. And if things go wrong, you can always return to your attack point and try again.

Let's see this in action. Another great video from the South London Orienteers (SLOW), will help show how to use an attack point effectively.



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