Part of the new Army Engineer Officers Basic Course (EOBC) is the Escape and Evasion exercise (E&E).
In my case we were taken from Fort Belvoir to Fort A.P. Hill in late January of 1967. We were given a map, a compass, a flashlight and directions. We had already received some preliminary training. We were turned loose in groups of 4 in the early evening to reach a rendezvous point about 4 miles to the north. We understood that 'aggressor units' would be not too far behind us trying to capture and 'imprison' us.
Our fist heading was generally due north. As we got into the woods we continually ran into thickets and windfalls. Subconsciously we always went around them to the left, but never thought to return to our original heading.
We seemed to be moving along at a pretty good clip. After quite some time we came a road. One of group said, "Hey, there's our road, we're almost there." We crossed the road. Then I took a look at the compass. The road ran north-south. Our destination road ran almost east-west.
We had screwed up big-time. After some consideration we figured out that although we had always been facing north, we had traveled much more west than north because of trying to dodge the thickets and windfalls.
We quickly got back across the road and from then on followed a distant marker point to reach our destination safely without being caught.
Another group had a different learning experience. That night was very clear with a high full moon. It was so bright you could literally read the topo Quad map by the light of the moon.
This group had gotten to a clearing and stopped to rest and reconnoiter before moving on. All of a sudden they realized an aggressor unit was almost upon them. They had no time to make a run for it. They only had time to make 'like a log' and hope for the best with only the old olive green fatigues for camouflage.
Now understand; these are green, wet behind the ears second lieutenants with little to no prior military experience. The aggressor units had played this little game many times before and were much more experienced in those woods and LOVED catching young second lieutenants.
As the last aggressor passed through the area he tripped over the last lieutenant's foot. He shouted out, "Hey, I got one. There's got to be more around here." A quick search found the rest.
Lesson to camouflage experts: It does not take much to hide in the dark from the unaided human eye.