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Map & Compass Navigation

March 19, 2016 - March 20, 2016


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! 

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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

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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.

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Hosted by Klaus Gerhart  |  Instructor: Brian Swanson  Canyon Leader for Canyoneering California, Basic Mountaineering and Navigation Instructor for Sierra Club’s Wilderness Travel Course.


March 19, 2016
March 20, 2016
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Uber Adventures
21901 Devonshire St
Chatsworth, CA 91311 United States
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Ben Lewis
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