Build a solid foundation of map and compass skills

Develop proficiency in planning your route

Enjoyable and challenging team exercise

Do you know how to find your way back to your car when your smartphone or GPS batteries deplete or the device breaks on your outdoor adventure? Technology is useful, but time-proven navigation skills are essential for all who travel into the backcountry. Map and compass is one of the Ten Essentials and a critical part of every explorer’s tool-box but you must have a sound understanding of how to use these essentials for them to be reliable and effective tools. In this course, you’ll learn critical backcountry navigation skills allowing you to travel confidently into the wilderness knowing you have the tools to get home safely.

$295 per person | 2 days

Trip Details

Price

Tuition for the course is $295 per person


Departure time

8 AM


Meeting point

Hanksville, Utah


Availability

March through November


Duration

2 days


Group size

2-8 people


Experience level

No previous experience required


Difficulty rating

2

Level 1
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy hiking on well maintained trails
    • Canyoneering: Easy hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 2 miles
  • Surfaces: Easy terrain
  • Elevation Change: Little to none. Short sections of uphill travel.
Level 2
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy to moderate hiking
    • Canyoneering: Easy to moderate hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 3 miles
  • Surfaces: Flat or rolling terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 600 ft/day
Level 3
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Moderate, off-trail hiking on rugged trails
    • Canyoneering: Moderate, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 6 miles
  • Surfaces: Rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 1200 ft/day
Level 4
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 10 miles
  • Surfaces: Rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 3000 ft/day
Level 5
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Very difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Very difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs. May require advanced canyoneering techniques including guided rappels, multi-pitch rappels, complex ropework difficult pothole escapes, and advanced problem-solving and anchor building.
  • Distances: Hike up to 14 miles
  • Surfaces: Extremely rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 4000 ft/day

Solitude rating

5

  1. Expect to be around other hikers and travelers most of the time.
  2. Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups.
  3. Expect several hours of solitude at a time.
  4. Expect to see no more than one or two groups on your trip.
  5. Expect to see no other hikers or travelers on your trip.

Included

  • Experienced and knowledgeable instructors
  • Wilderness-based classroom
  • Group campsite
  • Course-specific handouts
  • Federal land permit fees
  • Safety equipment, including a team first-aid kit and satellite messenger
  • A commitment to make the course as exciting, challenging, and informative as you’d like

Not included

  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Gratuities or tips for instructors

What to bring

  • Layered clothing
  • Comfortable, high-friction footwear
  • Medium backpack
  • Sun Protection
  • Water bottles or bladder
  • Headlamp or flashlight

A full packing list will be sent upon booking.

What Lies Ahead of You

Learn and refine navigation skills in the field

Gain knowledge and confidence in your ability to use a map and compass

Learn the basics of how to use GPS


What You'll Learn

Morning classroom sessions will provide a solid foundation of knowledge and afternoon field sessions will provide hands-on practice and application of skills and techniques.
Skills covered in this course include:

  • How to create and use a wilderness travel agenda
  • How to plan your route from the comfort of your home
  • How to choose the best route to avoid obstacles and hazards
  • How to read a USGS 1/24,000 topographic map
  • Understand the difference between true north and magnetic north (declination)
  • Learn how to use terrain helpers and baselines
  • Learn what to do if you get “off-route”
  • Learn how to use a map-bearing and field-bearing
  • Learn how to triangulate your position
  • How to route-find and navigate using proven map and compass techniques
  • Understand the limits of GPS devices and how trusted route-finding and navigational techniques will add both efficiency and safety to your trip

Other Important Information

We offer multiple tours in the Utah wilderness. See where we guide!

 

If you’ve decided to stay a little longer, take a look at our list of Utah recommendations,(opens in a new tab) including the nearest towns with the best accommodation and restaurants. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us(opens in a new tab)!

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely not. If you’re a keen adventurer looking to discover the basic pleasure of navigating, this trip is for you!

Wear clothes you can move in and won’t tear easily. Layers are also key! For your feet, comfortable medium-weight hiking shoes or boots work best. You definitely need closed-toed shoes that you’ve worn before and broken in well. A full packing list will be provided upon booking.

Have more questions? Head to our FAQ page to read more!

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