--Route Types


5-49. There are three types of routes leaders can choose from: those which follow linear terrain features; those which follow a designated contour interval; and those which go cross compartment. Terrain association can be used with all three route types. The general azimuth method is used with the contour and terrain feature method. Point navigation is used primarily with cross compartment.


5-50. Following a terrain feature is nothing more than moving along linear features such as ridges, valleys, and streets. The advantage of this method is the unit is moving with the terrain. This is normally the least physically taxing of the methods. The disadvantage is following terrain features also means following natural lines of drift, which leads to a higher probability of chance contact with the enemy.


5-51. Contouring (remaining at the same height the entire leg) follows the imaginary contour line around a hill or along a ridgeline. Contouring has two advantages. First, it prevents undue climbing or descending. Second, following the contour acts as handrail or catching feature. The disadvantage of contouring is it can be physically taxing.


5-52. Cross compartment means following a predetermined azimuth and usually means moving against the terrain. The advantage of this method is it provides the most direct route from the start point to the end point of the leg or route. There are two primary disadvantages to this type of route. First, this method can be physically taxing. Second, the unit might expose itself to enemy observation.