Natural Navigation Training: Map & Compass, Lostproofing & Orienteering

Class fee is $15 if paid at least a day in advance, or $20 at the door if space remains available. The Mountaineers members can also attend for $15 if space remains available the day-of. See below for payment options and the full itinerary or to attend our afternoon class in Puyallup, click here.


If you are already an expert navigator, this class will give you great teaching tools for use when hiking with novices. If you are “navigationally challenged,” then instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm hope the simple way we teach these skills will open a world of understanding for you in the wilderness. 

ITINERARY:

15 Minutes on the Testing Your Dominance & Risk Management: After reviewing the 10 Packing Essentials and risk management tips shared from our Search & Rescue background, we will help you test to see if you are “right or left dominant” because when walking in nature, most people continually veer left or right when they actually want to go straight. Key to navigating in nature is learning how to compensate for your dominance.

20 Minutes on the Top 10 Lostproofing Skills: The most important skill for lostproofing is awareness. In fact, some people say there is no such thing as being lost, just in being unaware, so we will practice skills to improve your spacial recognition including wide-angle vision, expanded hearing, and new ways of walking appropriate to various environments, among other skils.

20 Minutes on the Top 10 Orienteering Skills: You will be amazed by some of the incredible ways to find north-south-east-west in order to walk in a straight line toward your destination on a map. One of our favorite is floating a leaf in water, and placing a pin on the leaf. Amazingly, it points to magnetic north. We’ll demonstrate that, and some other ways to orient yourself to the cardinal directions in city and wilderness, from GPS to the stars.

20 Minutes on the Top 10 Navigation Skills: There are some very important skills to learn in order to negotiate your way through nature without map or compass. For instance, do you know how to follow the contours of a hill in order to stay above thick brush and away from steep cliffs? How about lining up landmarks in order to go straight? We’ll talk about these skills and practice others as allowed by time and location.

30 Minutes on Map & Compass for Smarties: No matter whether you have GPS or not, the crux of these skills is understanding map and compass. If you are an expert navigator, you know how frustrating it can be to help novices understand maps, and if you are a novice, you know how frustrating it can be to read one. But no worries, as our method of using map and compass should allay your fears, even when it comes to contour lines and magnetic declination.

30 Minute Orienteering Challenge: Now let the fun begin as we send you out on a mini orienteering/geocache challenge that we have set up for you!

15 Minutes of Class – Resources & Questions: As you can tell, we really pack in the knowledge, so we allow wiggle room at the end of class to review skills that you wanted to cover more deeply.

PAYMENTS:

RSVP here or go to the Wolf College website to register via PayPal, or call[masked] with a credit card, or send a check to the Wolf College,[masked]th St SW, Puyallup WA 98371. Email or Call us at any time with any questions and requests.

PLEASE BRING:

- Hats, warm clothes, and rain gear if necessary for the outdoor portion of class.

- Flashlight/Headlamp will make things a lot easier for map reading after sunset.

- Notebook plus Pencil & Red/Blue Pen if at all possible for good highlighting of map contour lines.

- Compass if possible, but please note that "surveyor's compasses" and other non-map-compasses won't work. If you don't have a map/orienteering compass yet, try online, or cheaper sports stores for last-minute purchase, and we recommend the Rothco Orienteering Compass Item #337 for learning in the $10 price range, or the Brunton 15TDCL Compass if you want to go up to the next level in the $35 price range for precise mirrored sighting and adjustable declination. If you are hard-core, please share your more pricy suggestions at class:)

- Google Terrain Map of the area using the link http://goo.gl/maps/XAPfn and be sure to print at a quality that you can see the contour lines okay, fold and put into a zip-lock baggie for waterproofing.

- Any of the other 10 Essentials you want with you. A great description of the 10 Essentials can be found at http://www.mountaineers.org/images/tenessentials_web.pdf

Classes follow field exercises from our Wolf Journey Earth Conservation Course, and topics through the Academic Year include the following themes:

• January in 3 Northwest Locations: Wilderness Survival Skills including Bow Drill Fire Demo

• February in 3 Northwest Locations: Natural Navigation, Map & Compass, Lostproofing, & Orienteering

• March in 3 Northwest Locations: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine

• April in 3 Northwest Locations: Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country

• May in 3 Northwest Locations: Backcountry Gourmet & Wilderness Camp Stove Cooking Classes

• June in Puyallup: Special Week of Classes

• October in 3 Northwest Locations: Climate Change Training – Lifestyle, Emergencies & Carbon Sequestration

• November in 3 Northwest Locations: Backcountry Crafts – Making Rope, Berry Collecting Baskets, Sleeping Bag Mats & More

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  • Mitch

    Great information and practical skills were shared with the class in an easily digestible format. Thanks!!

    2 · February 6

    • Gayle M

      Definitely a recommended class that I will share with others :)

      1 · February 6

  • Gayle M

    Great class !! I can now say I am not directionally challenged anymore :-)

    1 · February 6

  • Mirek

    Sorry for the late notice....getting back late from Seattle

    February 5

  • Mitch

    Chris & Kim are very knowledgeable; I always pick up valuable information at their seminars. Glad to be able to make it.

    1 · February 5

  • Mirek

    Great class and a great group of people.

    1 · January 15, 2014

  • amelia

    I hike alone a lot and am hopeful these skills will put some of my family and friends at ease.

    2 · January 15, 2014

  • Linda L.

    My boyfriend and I are just starting to hike together & this would be great for us to learn... He may have to work that night but so far he has it off... I will adjust my RSVP if he is unable to come... Looking forward to it.

    1 · January 10, 2014

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