Our Navigator courses are wilderness based orienteering and survival courses that cover the basics of route planning, map reading, compass and GPS use, wilderness survival skills, and field applications. Whether you are an experienced backcountry hiker, or a novice with no outdoor experience, your GORUCK Cadre will ensure that you walk away with new skills and the ability to venture into the outdoors armed with expert knowledge and first hand field experience.

GORUCK Navigator Core Patch
GORUCK Navigator Z Patch
GORUCK Navigator Patch

Navigator Core (36 Hours)

Navigator CORE focuses the majority of its curriculum on route planning, map reading, compass use and GPS familiarity. Though elements of survival are covered the emphasis of CORE is to develop and drive the student toward a higher proficiency of navigation skills. Whether you are an experienced backcountry hiker or a novice at using a compass, your GORUCK Cadre will ensure that you walk away with new skills and the knowledge and experience to continue to develop and build your adventure skills.

Navigator Z (36 Hours)

Navigator Z covers the basics of route planning, map reading, compass and GPS skills, but focuses the majority of its time and curriculum toward developing and testing survival skills. Whether you are an experienced backcountry hiker or a novice, your GORUCK Cadre will ensure that you walk away from Navigator Z armed with first hand experience in survival that might just save your life one day.

Navigator Legacy (72 Hours)

Legacy reviews curriculum from both CORE and Z but focuses primarily on vital field training exercises to strengthen and reinforce aspects of navigation and survival that need first hand experience to develop. Self supported and immersed in a 72 hour survival event allows participants to learn, develop, and apply their training in a vital way.

Why Navigator Is Special

All of the GORUCK Navigator courses are open to people with an interest in mastering navigation and orienteering skills in a wilderness environment. In line with our goal to build better Americans, we build your confidence in desert, wooded, or mountainous terrain, so that you know what to do in case you ever find yourself in a worst-case scenario. To do that, we test you on the skills we teach to ensure you “get it.”

You and your team will have to navigate cross country, build shelters, start fires, and eventually use signaling techniques to either get rescued or find your way back to a designated base camp safely.


  • Acquire proficiency in all aspects of map reading, including map contour lines/intervals, scale, terrain features, margins, symbol significance and route finding
  • Learn how to accurately use a map and compass to navigate in difficult terrain, with GPS as a back-up. We teach you on Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) maps.
  • Gain confidence in designing and planning trips backcountry with proper risk management
  • Apply skills learned to a “worst-case” scenario. This just-in-case knowledge might save your life someday.

Event Skill Sets

  • Land Navigation
  • Terrain-based mission planning and preparation
  • GPS/Compass/Map Reading
  • Backcountry/Survival Basics
  • Rucksack packing/load distribution
  • Basic water procurement and purification
  • Survival shelter building/fires
  • Emergency EVAC signaling and procedures
  • Basic Wilderness Medicine and First-Aid
  • Medical Emergencies/Evacuation preparation and planning

The specific skills taught may differ depending on location, weather, and terrain.

What to Bring

Navigator Core, Z and Legacy have each have different packing lists. Download the packing list below for your specific event.


Participants are required to bring the following meals:

  1. Camp meals: 2 camp meals to be eaten and prepared at a base camp per day. Examples of camp meals are Mountain House dehydrated meals or MREs. Well rounded nutrient and calorie rich foods are best.
  2. Go Meals: 1-2 go meals per day, to be eaten on the move during field time and training. Examples of go type meals are Pro-Bar meal bars, Sandwiches, or similar calorie and carbohydrate rich foods that don't require preparation in the field.
  3. Snacks: Good mountain snacks are high in calories especially in carbohydrates and fat. Examples are trail mix, bars, bagels.

Physical Requirements

You need to have some experience hiking and/or rucking when you show up. GORUCK Challenges as well as rucking on your own serve as suitable preparation for Navigator. Due to less altitude gain and reduced elevation, Navigator is less physically demanding than Ascent.

Our Cadre

Navigator is designed and led by GORUCK Cadre with extensive Special Operations backgrounds and wilderness experience. We also have professional outdoor educators and guides on staff to ensure the quality of our instruction. The Navigator team offers a unique combination of skill sets honed from years operating in denied areas and rugged terrain as soldiers or professional outdoorsmen.

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