I. Topic Area:
For participants to understand and have experience with the 3 keys of land navigation.
1) Participants will demonstrate their ability to adjust for declination.
2) Participants will calibrate their pace and use it to travel a specified distance.
3) Participants will plot a course on a topographical map and follow it on the ground.
IV. Time Required: A total of 2 hrs and 45 minutes.
V. Materials Needed:
Compasses, local topographical maps, protractors, worksheets, pencils, whistles, calculators, and a demo compass.
VI. Age Group:
A group of 16 to 21 year olds who already have a basic knowledge of map and compass.
VII. Activity Procedure Outline:
Part One: Pacing Skills (30 minutes)
Part Two: Compass Skills (50 minutes)
Part Three: Test Map Skills (1 hour)
1) Have participants get in groups of 2.
2) Give participants the coordinates for a 3-legged compass walk and the distance they need to travel (1/4 mile should be a good distance to build their confidence. You don't want to set them up for failure).
3) Make sure each group has 2 compasses, a map, protractor, pencil, 2 whistles and a coordinate sheet.
Part Four: Conclusion (25 minutes)
1) After participants return from their navigation experience, go over what participants learned while having their field experience. Go over any questions or concerns.
2) Review why it is important to know proper land navigation techniques for backcountry travel.
VIII. Safety Considerations:
Before you send participants into the woods make sure that they understand how to use the compass, the map, paces, and that they understand the methods of adjusting for declination. Make sure that the area is safe to use. Check for any potential hazards that could threaten the well being of participants. When traveling in the woods make sure the participants use the buddy system. Instruct participants to blow their whistle only if they are lost. It would also be desirable to supervise groups while they venture into the woods and to also make sure they have a good understanding of Leave No Trace and low-impact hiking techniques.