• P.O. Box 28, Round Hill, VA 20142

Introduction to Map Reading, Compass and Orienteering Skills

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Date/Time
Date(s) - November 10, 2018
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

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• What we’ll do
This 4-hour course will introduce you to the basics of land navigation using maps and a magnetic compass, and provide a brief introduction to the sport of orienteering.

We’ll start with how map reading skills might be useful in a wilderness context, and talk about some basic hiking safety. Then an overview of topographic maps, what makes them different from other map types, and what makes them especially useful for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. We’ll get to know what contour lines represent, and how to read and interpret the symbols that can be found on a map.

We’ll also discuss the difference between magnetic north and true north, and how declination is used to translate to and from these directions.

We’ll then introduce the use of a basic baseplate magnetic compass (these will be provided for your use during class**), how to take azimuths, to establish direction of travel or to landmarks, and how to take azimuths from maps and convert them to magnetic directions using declination.

We’ll also introduce the sport of orienteering, will practice establishing a simple hiking route using a topographic map, then practice our new skills navigating that course (weather permitting.)

Finally, we’ll introduce some resources that you can use to create your own custom topographic maps, including hiking maps and terrain profiles. Time permitting, we’ll also discuss how you can orient yourself to the cardinal directions without a compass or GPS, and how to find your position on a map using resection.

The field exercise of this course will involve some brief hiking over uncleared woods and may be marshy, etc. If you wish to participate in that part of the course, (it’s optional), please wear boots, and clothing appropriate to the weather.

** or bring your own

• What to bring
Water, coffee, tea will be provided. Bring snacks or a light lunch.

• Important to know

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