Map & Compass Navigation (aka Orienteering): The Art of Staying Found
“I’m pretty sure you can’t get there from here.” –overheard–
Gain confidence in finding your way and knowing where you are whether you’re on-trail or traveling cross-country. This comprehensive 2-day course covers the essential skills of back-country navigation using the most reliable equipment: Map & Compass
YOU are the ‘WHO‘ … we’ll provide the ‘WHAT‘, ‘WHERE‘, ‘WHEN‘, ‘WHY‘ and ‘HOW‘ of Map & Compass Navigation. In the age of Global Positioning Satellites (and the electronic devices used to access the network … commonly referred to as GPS units), why is learning Map & Compass navigation still relevant? Think of a GPS as a luxury, and a Map & Compass as a necessity. Will a GPS work if the batteries die? Will a GPS work in a canyon? Will a GPS work when it’s overcast or if under a canopy of trees? Will a GPS be useful without maps? The answer to those questions is “probably not!” While a GPS is a fantastic tool, it is not as reliable as ye olde map and compass.
Staying found (or not getting lost) is not an instinct or an innate skill … but it CAN be learned.
In this vital class, you’ll be trained in and have time to practice the following:
- Parts of a Compass & how they work together
- Magnetic North and how to use Declination to adjust for True North
- Topographic Map Legend, Symbols & Contour Lines
- Terrain Recognition for interpreting features
- Micro-Navigation to keeping track of exact location
- Dead Reckoning for obscure navigation challenges
- Naismith’s Rule & Backpacker’s Rule for trip preparation and estimating distance travelled
- Orienting a Map in the field
- Taking Bearings/Plotting Bearings
- Finding Location through Triangulation
- Latitude/Longitude vs UTM Coordinates
- Tips & Tricks for Navigating without Map & Compass!
Day 1: …will be held in our classroom in Chatsworth, CA 8:00-5:00pm
Day 2: …will be held in-the-field near Agua Dulce, CA (about 20 miles up Hwy 14, so consider setting up carpools during the class on Day 1) 9:00-2:00pm
The cost of this 2-day course is $195 and includes all instruction, handouts and USGS topographic maps (quadrangles) for the practice area. Compasses will be available at the store at a 15% discount ($45.89). The compasses we recommend and the ones which will be for sale are the Silva Ranger CL. If you decide to bring your own compass or another brand/style, please be sure it has a sighting mirror, orienting arrow, orienting lines, clear base plate, declination scale and a rotating dial/bezel.
Hosted by Klaus Gerhart | Instructor: Brian Swanson Canyon Leader for Canyoneering California, Basic Mountaineering and Navigation Instructor for Sierra Club’s Wilderness Travel Course.