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Backcountry Navigation

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Backcountry Navigation Course

Are you over-reliant on technological equipment and don’t know how to use a map & compass? Do you know how to find your way back to your car when your smartphone or GPS batteries deplete or the device breaks on your outdoor adventure? Technology is useful, but time-proven navigation skills are essential for all who travel into the backcountry. In this course, you’ll learn how to use a map and compass, how to plan a route, how to navigate safely and efficiently in a variety of wilderness settings, how to use GPS and digital maps, and how to travel confidently into the wilderness knowing you have the tools to get home safely.

Specific Skills You will learn Include:

  • How to create and use a Wilderness Travel Agenda
  • How to plan your route from the comfort of your home
  • How to choose the best route to avoid obstacles and hazards
  • How to read a USGS 1/24,000 topographic map
  • Understand the difference between true north and magnetic north (declination)
  • Learn how to use terrain helpers and baselines
  • Learn what to do if you get "off-route"
  • Learn how to use a map-bearing and field-bearing
  • Learn how to trangulate your position
  • How to route-find and navigate using proven map & compass techniques
  • Understand the limits of GPS devices and how trusted route-fidning and navigational techniques will add both efficency and safety to your trip

Tuition for the course is $295 per person.

2019 Dates:  March 30-31 & October 19-20

Learning and understanding these important principles and tools will help build your skills and confidence and reduce your reliance on technology and just “winging it”. Map and compass is one of the Ten Essentials and a critical part of every explorer’s tool-box but you must have a sound understanding of how to use these essentials for them to be reliable and effective tools. Morning classroom sessions will provide a solid foundation of knowledge and afternoon field sessions will provide hands-on practice and application of skills and techniques.

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