One of the fundamentals taught throughout the military is the certainty of failure and the unexpected consequences for miscellaneous variables. When disaster strikes and not everything went according to plan, evasion may be your only option. You will need to immediately vacate the area covering great distances in a relatively short amount of time. Before vacating plan your route of evasion, instead of running away in a random direction. Approximations made in the heat of the moment, as long as they are within reasonable proximity to your goal, will have to suffice. After you have put a safe amount of distance between you and your enemy, rest and regain situational awareness while applying your awareness to your escape plan. You will need to pinpoint your location using a compass, the sun, landmarks, G.P.S., or your map.
To better your chances for your survival I have highlighted crucial skills you will need to escape enemy combatants, including skills.
– Evasion and Survival – Location Assessment
If your compass or G.P.S. have become inoperable or grossly inaccurate you will need to apply some basic tricks used for thousands of years to this day. One of the easiest to use is the sunrise, the sun rises from the east, which means north is to your left and south is to your right.
– Use your watch as a compass
The sun will always ‘appear’ to be south of the north temperate time zone and north of the south. Watches can be used to get a precise northern direction, thus compensating for the eastern and western movements the sun makes.
Watch CompassHold watch level with the hour hand pointing directly at the sun
Draw an angle in your head with the vertex (The point about which an angle is measured) centered on the watch. With one line through noon and the other along the hour hand.
Decrease this angle by 50%
This new angle formed now projects the precise southern direction
Using the Southern Cross at Night
When you are in the southern hemisphere you can find south by locating what is known as the ‘Southern Cross’. The Southern Cross is a constellation with four bright stars, making it easily identifiable, when these stars are connected they form a cross. Using your mind’s eye draw an imaginary line from the bottom of the cross extending 4 1/2 times it’s length. Draw another line at the end of the length going straight down and you now have your southern reference point.
– Using Shadow to find Direction
Drive a straight stake or stick into the ground with at least 3 feet exposed to the suns rays. Make the tip of the shadow it casts, wait for approximately 15 minutes and make the tip of the shadow’s location again. Draw a line from your first marking to your second marking, this method will always point north. Note: In south temperate zones this direction will be south.
Evasion and Survival – Evasion Key Points
Now that we have our general direction adequately plotted, we have to practice basic precautions as we navigate across hostile territory. Simply knowing these steps is not enough to guarantee survival, however it is absolutely necessary you comply with these simple guidelines to better your chances for survival.
– Determine your direction, choose a direction with forgiving terrain and less obstacles to navigate, thus avoiding exhaustion. Densely vegetated area with low grades work particularly well when needing cover. If a map is available, study the slopes carefully to identify the most convenient and safe exit points.
– Check your location and direction often, deviations from a linear direction are guaranteed due to topography and gradual deviation patterns
– Rivers and moving bodies of water make excellent directional indicators (Note: not all rivers flow from South to North). Rivers are almost always accompanied by towns and are almost guaranteed to be patrolled by hostile forces. If your situation required the use of the river during evasion, attempt to stay out of the open.
– If you can acquire a boat for evasion, but your duration of travel calls for intermittent stops, compensate by submerging or camouflaging the boat.
– Ridges are typically more exposed but much easier to travel upon.
– If your situation allows for traveling on ridges and crests, do so while elevating your scouting precautions.
When near hostile enemy location, move after sunset and in the twilight. Using the low visibility as cover while maintaining enough visibility to target enemies and equipment. Do not make noise, noise travels a couple hundred yards (if loud enough), will expose your location.
– Never sleep near a fire, water supply or enemy locations.
Before approaching your FOB (Forward Operating Base) or Camp, investigate the surrounding areas for hostile targets and eliminate. After eliminating your targets and hiding the remains, you will need to evacuate your current compromised camp location.
– In dense vegetation insects can be a killer, always use sufficient amount of insect repellant.
– Use the environment and surroundings to your advantage, many of the basic essentials you need to survive are most likely present. I.E. Water, Food, Shelter.
– Always plan more than one exit strategy.