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Camping, Hiking and Outdoor Activities Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities within.

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  #1  
Old 03-25-2013, 4:02 PM
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Default Map & Compass Navigation So Cal

Anyone take a good navigation class in So Cal?

I've seen some on advertised on Calguns, but only up north.

I know REI offers them. I've also been eyeing this one from Treks & Tracks in Malibu: http://treksandtracks.com/tt2/product/40
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Old 03-25-2013, 4:07 PM
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Just go on group hike with one of the SoCal Hiking Groups. You will learn a lot hands on.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2013, 5:49 AM
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http://www.landnavigation.org/Pages/default.aspx

There are several ones free online, granted you dont get the interaction you are proably looking for, bu thtey are worth a start.

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Old 03-26-2013, 7:07 AM
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Wow, that's a comprehensive website!

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Originally Posted by memo43 View Post
http://www.landnavigation.org/Pages/default.aspx

There are several ones free online, granted you dont get the interaction you are proably looking for, bu thtey are worth a start.

Memo
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Old 03-27-2013, 8:17 AM
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Old 03-26-2013, 6:48 AM
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+1 on the REI class. I think they're free.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:51 AM
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Good deal. How often is it offered?

Last edited by joash; 03-27-2013 at 5:49 PM..
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2013, 10:46 PM
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You can get an excellent book (numerous to choose from on the subject) a 7.5 minute topo map of an area you like, compass and learn it yourself!!! It's not hard and you'll save money.

Both of my kids learned it on their own at the age of 12 and 13, by reading and doing. Now it's second nature to them every time we go camping.

If you've figured out how to use a smart phone, word or surf the Internet, you can teach yourself how to do land nav with Map & compass.
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Old 05-04-2013, 3:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
You can get an excellent book (numerous to choose from on the subject) a 7.5 minute topo map of an area you like, compass and learn it yourself!!! It's not hard and you'll save money.

Both of my kids learned it on their own at the age of 12 and 13, by reading and doing. Now it's second nature to them every time we go camping.

If you've figured out how to use a smart phone, word or surf the Internet, you can teach yourself how to do land nav with Map & compass.
I agree with ^^^^This^^^^.... It's not that hard to learn. I prefer the UTM system. Get a lensatic compass and a few compact protractors that fit your scale (i use 1:24k maps). Orient yourself, learn to read contour, shoot an azimuth.... It's really simple actually. I even detail my maps. I fold a 24x36 map down to eight 9x12 sections so it will fit in a map case. Each folded section has a hand drawn mag north arrow with the declination off-set in the center for faster orientation without having to unfold the entire map. Give it a try before taking a class if map/land nav are only what you're after.......

Last edited by D.carden; 05-10-2013 at 3:00 PM..
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Old 05-10-2013, 1:45 AM
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Originally Posted by D.carden View Post
I agree with ^^^^This^^^^.... It's not that hard to learn. I prefer the UTM system. Get a lensatic compass and a few compact protractors that fit your scale (i use 1:24k maps). Orient yourself, learn to read contour, shoot an azimuth.... It's really simple actually. I even detail my maps. I fold a 24x36 map down to eight 9x12 sections so it will fit in a map case. Each folded section has a hand drawn declination arrow in the center for faster orientation without having to unfold the entire map. Give it a try before taking a class if map/land nav are only what you're after.......
Great tip with the declination arrow! Here's another tip for those 7.5 minute angle maps (or any topo for that matter). I got this tip from a forward ground controller in the Marines....

To protect your topo, go to Von's, Ralph's, Albertons, (whatever) and buy a roll of clear shelving paper. Lay out your flat map on a table and laminate it with the clear shelving paper.

The clear shelving paper is very soft and pliable (unlike true heat laminated material), thus allowing for easily folding the map. Shelving paper is very strong and durable, almost like a flexible vinyl surface. It's also water proof and non glaring with the sun (unlike heat lamination). You'll find it sold in rolls, usually on the aisle that carries pots and pans etc, or kitchen cleansers.

If you can, do the shelving paper (comes on a big roll) on a flat smooth surface, or a piece of glass works best. Ten use an Xacto type knife to cut off the excess along the edges.

I have maps now that are 20+ years old that I used the shelving paper idea in. It's not necessary to laminate the back side, but you can if you want total water proofing. For simply durability, laminating just the front is suffice.
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:09 AM
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The Sierra Club offers navigation training. You can check the main Angeles schedule. I am not sure of where all it is listed, but I am an instructor with one group.
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Old 05-02-2013, 8:41 PM
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+1 on Sierra club. I just finished the WTC with them and they teach some serious advanced micro navigation techniques. It's the meat class. Check out www.WildernessTravelCourse.org it's an amazing class, nothing went without challenge and I was previously experienced before starting the class.
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Old 05-03-2013, 9:45 AM
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I have always wanted to do the WTC. It looks awesome, snow camping etc.
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Old 05-03-2013, 9:47 AM
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http://www.eseeknives.com/map-compass.pdf
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Old 05-03-2013, 9:53 AM
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While WTC has good aspects, there are also issues with it. You can learn a lot, but don't think that you know more than you do, which has been an issue with some students. For example, they also don't teach desert backpacking, which, due to water issues, is different and that can cause some serious problems.

One quote that really showed an issue with WTC is when they has a question and answer format to advertise the class and the question was whether they taught survival skills. The response was that they teach things so that you don't need survival skills. This is extremely stupid and shortsighted. Things happen, such as some people I know were backpacking, stopped and took a break, but their packs fell down a canyon. It took them a day to recover their packs, so they needed to survive until then. Things happen, so no matter what you know, survival skills are needed if you go out into the wilderness (or anywhere else for that matter).

Also, I have seen WTC pass fellow WTC members on Nav checkoffs and the person is not qualified. The attitude should be whether you are comfortable with that person taking people out and not getting them lost and possibly killed, not that you are in the same "club" as them.

There are Nav training opportunities besides WTC.
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Old 05-03-2013, 6:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kemasa View Post
While WTC has good aspects, there are also issues with it. You can learn a lot, but don't think that you know more than you do, which has been an issue with some students. For example, they also don't teach desert backpacking, which, due to water issues, is different and that can cause some serious problems.

One quote that really showed an issue with WTC is when they has a question and answer format to advertise the class and the question was whether they taught survival skills. The response was that they teach things so that you don't need survival skills. This is extremely stupid and shortsighted. Things happen, such as some people I know were backpacking, stopped and took a break, but their packs fell down a canyon. It took them a day to recover their packs, so they needed to survive until then. Things happen, so no matter what you know, survival skills are needed if you go out into the wilderness (or anywhere else for that matter).

Also, I have seen WTC pass fellow WTC members on Nav checkoffs and the person is not qualified. The attitude should be whether you are comfortable with that person taking people out and not getting them lost and possibly killed, not that you are in the same "club" as them.

There are Nav training opportunities besides WTC.
I think you're misguided, and I speak from first hand experience, because I just finished the course.

First off, it's a BASIC MOUNTAINEERING course, it's not a survival class, they won't teach you to make fire with a wood bow, that's not even a confusion. You won't fix a shelter with palm leaves or anything like that.
They teach you how to summit mountains and backpack, basically how to TRAVEL in the wilderness, in ALL climates and terrain.

The only reason it's a "basic" mountaineering class, because for insurance purposes they do not teach self-arrest with an ice-ax or use of crampons and they do not cover rock climbing with ropes and belay.

Second, they absolutely teach desert travel, because our class did an experience trip to Joshua Tree, which is a dry camp.

They teach you desert travel, snow travel, what I consider very advanced rock scrambling, we did 15 mile day hikes, we learned show shoes, and snow hiking techniques. They cover nutrition, every aspect of gear, very basic wilderness first aid, environmental awareness- meaning "leave no trace" and VERY advanced navigation techniques.

Trust me, the class is difficult. I am 32 years old, in good shape, was raised in the boy scouts and had plenty of camping experience before the class. It was tough. It's long too, it's something like 10-12 weeks + required trips after the course to receive graduation. There are weekly lectures, tests and written homework assignments every week. 100% perfect attendance is required to graduate, so it's a true commitment.

On top of the classroom settings there are 4 outings, and they are amazing.

Nothing is perfect, it's not the military either, sure if you want to be lazy and not follow the curriculum or be an idiot, you can still pass. You only cheat yourself. The emphasis of the course is SAFETY in the wilderness, so you don't "fall don't fall down a canyon" like the scenario you gave. That story is missing something. The concepts are if you know how to navigate and ALWAYS CARRY THE 10 ESSENTIALS of hiking, you will never be lost or at risk to die. If you act right, you will be prepared. They ingrain the tools required to bring everywhere you go, the survival tools will not be able to be improvised in case of a biouvac.

The class is entirely taught by VOLUNTEERS. Nobody is getting paid a dime, and the registration fees only cover your permits and the luxury buses they charter to take you on the trips. The teachers put in alot of hard work and time, all for free. Some teachers are always better than others, and if you got an info lecture about WTC and they didn't give a good sell or answer all your questions, that's unfortunate. The classes always fill up and it's only offered once a year so you can experience both snow and desert climates.

Take it or leave it, makes no difference to me. However, I strongly disagree with your statement because you have not taken the class. If you took it, and hated it, I would respect your opinion. You are also giving false information about what the curriculum is.

The class is around $300, and the website is www.WildernessTravelCourse.org

If anyone wants information on my experience I welcome PM's
The best part was I met some very normal people in SoCal with like-minded interests, and many of which became genuine friends. The real fun starts after the class when you begin planning tons of new adventures. It's not about some "club" that notion is absurd, it's the least pretentious people I've ever met.


here is exactly what they cover, according to the website:
-------------------------------------------------------------

For over 40 years, experienced Sierra Club instructors have taught wilderness skills to thousands of Southern Californians. Each year we instruct several hundred students in small groups with a very high instructor to student ratio that provides plenty of one on one instruction. These small groups remain together for the duration of the class, building a true sense of camaraderie among the students. For many, WTC provides not only valuable skills and knowledge, but also lasting friendships.

Take the first step towards a lifetime of wilderness adventures. Sign up today for the Wilderness Travel Course. It just might change your life!

Classroom Instruction: During the course, you can expect expert classroom instruction in the following areas:

Navigation techniques using map and compass
Gear selection including the “must have” ten essentials
Clothing selection for various environs from desert to mountains
Conditioning to help you prepare for your adventures
Minimum impact camping to insure that you protect the areas you visit
Safety issues while traveling in the desert or mountains
Basic wilderness first aid to handle common ailments and situations
Backpacking food that is light, packable, nutritious, and enjoyable

Hands-On Outings: You will also receive hands-on field instruction in both desert and mountain locations that cover the following skills:

Field navigation exercises in real world situations
Determining the best off trail routes
Basic rock maneuvers and techniques
Selecting and setting up campsites
Reading snow conditions to avoid avalanche danger
Use of snowshoes in winter travel (snow shoes are provided by the WTC)
Building of emergency shelters
How to make water safe to drink

Safety: Gain the knowledge and skills to be safe in the backcountry

Protect yourself from nature’s dangers
Stay warm and safe in extreme weather conditions
Travel safely in snow
Understand high altitude acclimatization
Learn from highly-experienced instructors

Maximize Your Dollars: Invest your recreation money wisely

Minimize your expenses by learning to buy the right gear
Discover inexpensive weekend getaways
Receive low-cost training and experience from a respected organization
Receive discounts from outdoor retailers

Challenge and Adventure:
Attain new summits of your own potential

Experience the freedom of the wilderness
Leave the trail and the crowds behind
Learn basic rock scrambling at Joshua Tree
Feel the rush from summiting High Sierra peaks
Backpack with confidence

Fun and Friends: Share fun times and make new friends

Meet new hiking partners
Explore secluded mountain lakes
Share stories and food around the campfire

Comfort: Learn to travel, eat, and sleep more comfortably in any climate

Keep your feet warm and comfortable
Eat appetizing meals when backpacking
Understand the many fabric types
Lighten your pack
Sleep comfortably in the wilderness
Stay Warm in snow
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  #17  
Old 05-04-2013, 6:49 PM
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I think you're misguided, and I speak from first hand experience, because I just finished the course.
Actually, you are misguided and you missed the point. WTC does not replace the need for survival skills, which is what they said it did.

Quote:
First off, it's a BASIC MOUNTAINEERING course, it's not a survival class, they won't teach you to make fire with a wood bow, that's not even a confusion. You won't fix a shelter with palm leaves or anything like that.
They teach you how to summit mountains and backpack, basically how to TRAVEL in the wilderness, in ALL climates and terrain.
You missed the point. To be quite honest, it seems like those who have taken WTC act like cult members. Yes, there are good aspects, but it is not the end all.

They do teach you to love Goretex :-).

Quote:
...
Second, they absolutely teach desert travel, because our class did an experience trip to Joshua Tree, which is a dry camp.
Perhaps that is something new since they did not used to do that. I have seen graduates from WTC not know much about desert trips.

Quote:
...
Nothing is perfect, it's not the military either, sure if you want to be lazy and not follow the curriculum or be an idiot, you can still pass. You only cheat yourself.
Actually, that presents a bigger problem. People say that they had taken WTC to show that they know something, but you say they can be lazy, not follow the curriculum and be an idiot and still pass. Then when you say that you had taken and passed WTC, other leaders think that it means something when it doesn't. They should only graduate those who really pass the course.

Quote:
The emphasis of the course is SAFETY in the wilderness, so you don't "fall don't fall down a canyon" like the scenario you gave. That story is missing something.
That is funny, but it shows that you can't read. First off, accidents happens and you are never going to stop that, so you should be able to deal with it. Read what I said, I never said that they fell down a canyon. What is missing is your ability to read.

Quote:
The concepts are if you know how to navigate and ALWAYS CARRY THE 10 ESSENTIALS of hiking, you will never be lost or at risk to die.
That is a very bad attitude to have as it is completely false. This is part of the problem I see with WTC. No matter what you do, things can happen and you need to be able to deal with it.

Things happen in the real world.


Quote:
If you act right, you will be prepared. They ingrain the tools required to bring everywhere you go, the survival tools will not be able to be improvised in case of a biouvac.

Quote:
Take it or leave it, makes no difference to me. However, I strongly disagree with your statement because you have not taken the class. If you took it, and hated it, I would respect your opinion. You are also giving false information about what the curriculum is.
You can disagree all you want, but you also don't know what I know. I am not giving any false information as it is based on my experience on what I have personally seen with WTC students which caused problems due to the attitude you expressed.You should respect the truth instead of just being a good cult member.

I have heard false information from WTC instructors as well.

It is not about hating it, but it is about teaching an attitude which is extremely dangerous and you supported that by your own words.
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Old 05-04-2013, 2:20 PM
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No course is perfect, but you could do a lot worse than the WTC. I'm sure that the vast majority of students finish the course with far greater skills & experience than when they started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kemasa View Post
While WTC has good aspects, there are also issues with it. You can learn a lot, but don't think that you know more than you do, which has been an issue with some students. For example, they also don't teach desert backpacking, which, due to water issues, is different and that can cause some serious problems.

One quote that really showed an issue with WTC is when they has a question and answer format to advertise the class and the question was whether they taught survival skills. The response was that they teach things so that you don't need survival skills. This is extremely stupid and shortsighted. Things happen, such as some people I know were backpacking, stopped and took a break, but their packs fell down a canyon. It took them a day to recover their packs, so they needed to survive until then. Things happen, so no matter what you know, survival skills are needed if you go out into the wilderness (or anywhere else for that matter).

Also, I have seen WTC pass fellow WTC members on Nav checkoffs and the person is not qualified. The attitude should be whether you are comfortable with that person taking people out and not getting them lost and possibly killed, not that you are in the same "club" as them.

There are Nav training opportunities besides WTC.
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Old 05-03-2013, 9:54 AM
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I'm in the San Francisco bay area, I'd like to take my daughter on a land nav course up here, don't know where the best place is to go.
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Old 05-05-2013, 8:40 AM
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I'm in the San Francisco bay area, I'd like to take my daughter on a land nav course up here, don't know where the best place is to go.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=711544

We have an upcoming class June 1st-2nd in Marin. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2013, 9:45 PM
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You mad bro?
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Old 05-05-2013, 7:56 AM
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You mad bro?
No, not at all. I have a serious concern that the attitude that you learned could get people killed. You really should give quite a bit of thought to what you said and realize that if you really believe this, that you have a serious problem:

Quote:
The concepts are if you know how to navigate and ALWAYS CARRY THE 10 ESSENTIALS of hiking, you will never be lost or at risk to die.
Address this. You will NEVER be lost or at risk to die if you carry the 10 essentials? Really? Do you realize just how foolish such an attitude is? Do you really need to be told all of the things that can go wrong?

Do you really need stories of real life where things happened and the person did not survive because they did not have simple survival skills? Oh, I know, a bear will never destroy your camp when you on a day hike. Do you know of anyone who has died in the wilderness?

You could address the other issues I raised, but I suspect you have nothing, which is why you responded how you did.

Oh, with respect to Jtree, was that just the Nav training? Or was it a backpack?
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Old 05-05-2013, 9:31 AM
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No, not at all. I have a serious concern that the attitude that you learned could get people killed. You really should give quite a bit of thought to what you said and realize that if you really believe this, that you have a serious problem:



Address this. You will NEVER be lost or at risk to die if you carry the 10 essentials? Really? Do you realize just how foolish such an attitude is? Do you really need to be told all of the things that can go wrong?

Do you really need stories of real life where things happened and the person did not survive because they did not have simple survival skills? Oh, I know, a bear will never destroy your camp when you on a day hike. Do you know of anyone who has died in the wilderness?

You could address the other issues I raised, but I suspect you have nothing, which is why you responded how you did.

Oh, with respect to Jtree, was that just the Nav training? Or was it a backpack?
Calm down. The OP asked about navigation training in the SoCal area, WTC and the Sierra Club is a very reasonable option. You trolled this thread about primitive survival skills. Nobody was talking about bivouacs or doomsday prepping.

The joshua tree trip is a combination exercise in navigation, backpacking, and rock scrambling, now goodbye. Try spending your energy in building something positive instead of being Mr. Negative.

To the OP, I apologize for any digression of your thread, another option to learn some navigation techniques in SoCal is this:http://losangelesorienteering.org

I've never been to an event so I won't chime in on it being good or bad, but it looks interesting!
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Old 05-05-2013, 9:44 AM
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Calm down.
Quite making things up just to try to defend your foolish position.

Quote:
The OP asked about navigation training in the SoCal area, WTC and the Sierra Club is a very reasonable option. You trolled this thread about primitive survival skills. Nobody was talking about bivouacs or doomsday prepping.
WTC is good training as long as you understand the dangerous attitude that they try to teach to people, which you have shown has worked on you.

It is another lie from you that it is a troll, nor was I talking about bivouacs or doomsday prepping. I quoted you a WTC statement in which they said that you don't need survival skills if you take their course, which is completely false.

Quote:
The joshua tree trip is a combination exercise in navigation, backpacking, and rock scrambling, now goodbye. Try spending your energy in building something positive instead of being Mr. Negative.
Really? You do the nav AND do the backpacking? You don't camp at the group site?

You are a fool if you think that I am being Mr. Negative. That is really just a personal attack because you have nothing else. I am pointing out a dangerous attitude which can cause serious problems and perhaps death. Your own words confirm that.

I am spending my energy in doing something positive, which is to ensure that people understand reality and don't just buy into the Cult mentality. Clearly, you have drunk the koolaid.

As I said, WTC teaches some good skills, but it is not all that they claim it is and the attitude is dangerous. I do see that you don't want to address your own statements :-).
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  #25  
Old 05-05-2013, 10:06 AM
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Wow this thread really crashed and burned.
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Old 05-05-2013, 1:10 PM
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This thread is about navigation training. How about starting a WTC thread where people can debate the pros & cons?
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Old 05-05-2013, 5:39 PM
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http://www.christophernyerges.com/schedule.htm

Orienteering Class. something cheap to get U started:-)
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Old 05-17-2013, 1:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akjunkie View Post
http://www.christophernyerges.com/schedule.htm

Orienteering Class. something cheap to get U started:-)
Saw Nyerges' buddy Alan Halcon teaching Navigation for $25 on 6/8 at Santa Fe Dam.
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Old 05-18-2013, 3:38 AM
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Joash, yes I am.

Land Nav is one of my more popular courses.

We cover a lot of material:

colors of a map
major and minor terrain features
declination
leapfrogging
biangulation and triangulation
terrain association
boxing
pace counting
etc.

then there is a custom course set out to test your newly acquired skills. It is challenging as you navigate around obstacles to reach your waypoints.

here are some pics

http://www.meetup.com/Outdoor-Self-R...162/#232105572

http://www.meetup.com/Outdoor-Self-R...otos/13488782/
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Old 05-10-2013, 9:58 AM
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Excellent idea re shelving paper.


Also a lot of good info on YouTube.
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