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Snohomish Evening Class - Natural Navigation, Lostproofing & Orienteering

No college or other affiliation needed. Please note that Meetup does not have an option for listing varying prices based on the number of people you are registering, but you can change the amount you pay before being redirected to PayPal, following this price schedule: One Person $15.00; Each Add'l Friend/Family Member $10.00. Email or Call us at any time with any questions or to register with a credit card.

This class also fulfills the prerequisite for an intermediate orienteering workshop that Chris & Kim will also be running from 10:00-4:00 on Saturday, November 3rd at Cabela's north of Everett. If you are interested in attending that workshop, please see our meetup listing for that.


15 Minutes Before Class: Please arrive early in order to complete any registration information, view recommended books, and answer questions. Learning always builds over the course of class, so be sure you don’t miss the introductory information!

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.

15 Minutes After Class – Feedback & Planning: Please join Chris & Kim after class to review experiences, browse resources, discuss feedback, and brainstorm ideas for the future.


- 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: or to get there manually:

1. Type "map 511 Pine Avenue Snohomish, WA" in your google search bar.
2. Click on the map image that pops up.
3. Zoom out one time only.
4. Hover your cursor over the "Satellite" image and click on "Terrain," or if you are already on "Satellite" then click on "Map" and then click on "Terrain."
5. 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, although we'll stay within the Peninsula Park area. A great description of the 10 Essentials can be found at

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

Thursday, January 16, 2013: Wilderness Survival Skills & Emergency Preparedness
Thursday, March 13, 2013: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine
Thursday, May 1, 2013: Safety, Tracking, and Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf, and Bear Country

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