Navigation & Orienteering Course

Course Overview

Knowing where you are on the land and how to navigate to your intended destination is an essential skill to being a competent outdoorsman.  This course will teach you how to move from one point to another without getting lost and without relying on a GPS or other electronic navigation device.  Instead, you will learn how to use both traditional navigation tools like map and compass as well as reading the landscape and nature’s signs to get to your intended destination.

Course Details


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Course Name:                  

Navigation and Orienteering


Course Dates:                   

January - December



1-5 Days


Experience & Activity Level:            

Participants should be in good

physical condition.  


Determined by group size,

number of days, location




What would happen if you are out hiking and get lost, or you lose sight of your backpacking trail and have to make your own way of the wilderness?  Would you be able to orient yourself correctly and make it safely to your intended destination with just a map and compass or by using nature’s navigation aids?


This course is designed to teach you how to do exactly that, so that you can maneuver over almost any landscape (forest, desert, mountains) and end up where you want to go.  It will start with basic theory and principles of navigation and orienteering, and then give you actual exercises to get from point A to point B on an unfamiliar landscape.  You will practice various methods to reach your destination points, so that you are not solely dependent on one particular technique.

The topics and skills that will be covered during the course include the following:

•    using the sun, moon, stars and other natural aids

•    reading a topographic map properly

•    using a compass correctly

•    calculating headings and bearings

•    plotting routes using map, compass, and coordinates

•    estimating distances and calculating distances traveled

•    using features on the land to travel in straight lines

•    triangulating from landmarks to determine your location

By learning and perfecting the above methods, you will build your confidence in your abilities to find your way to your destination, and to do it efficiently without getting lost, losing daylight, or wasting precious energy.  Additionally, it will give you a deeper level of awareness about the contour of the landscape and how to read it correctly, so that you don’t make unwise decisions.


And while the goal is to never to become disoriented in the first place, in the case of an unforeseen event like a severe storm you won’t need to panic if you become unsure of your location.  With these skills you will have the tools to regain your bearing and make it back to a place of safety.