Orienteering-Map and Compass Skills

Class is full.  Submit your registration and get on our waiting list.

Course Title:  Orienteering- Map and Compass Skills

Course #: 19F02

Dates:  August 13, 20, 22, 2019

Course Fee: $35($5 early bird discount if registered by July 30)

Time:  1-3 PM (8/13&20) & 1-4 PM (8/22)

Location:  Mercer Library (Session 1 & 2) Session 3 TBD

Objectives: At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  •        Plan a route of travel to a location utilizing a map and compass
  •        Follow a route to a destination using a compass
  •        Predict a current location using terrain features and a compass
  •        Determine coordinates on a map
  •        Discuss the pros- and cons- of utilizing map/compass and GPS

Course structure:  This course will include 2-2hr sessions of classroom and hands-on outdoor activities, culminating in a 3rd 3-hour field session to apply what has been learned.

Session 1: Participants will explore compass types, discover why a compass works, and learn how to use a compass to find a location.

Session 2: Participants will be introduced to maps and the features a map reveals, discover how to select routes of travel, plot courses on the map with a compass, and determine locations using a map and compass.

Session 3: Participants will work in small groups utilizing a map and compass to locate clues as to where the whole group will rendezvous.  Once they have their clues, they will navigate to this location. Participants will be off trail and in the woods for this session. Session will culminate with a discussion on GPS and some phone apps participants might find useful.

Requirements: No previous experience with a map and compass is necessary.  Participants must be comfortable going off trail and able to walk several miles (1-2) on variable terrain.

Equipment Needed: A baseplate compass like the Suunto A-30 Compass, Silva Compass Expedition 4, Suunto MC-2G or similar.  Suggested readings and assignments may require access to the internet.

Instructor:  Sterling Strathe has worked in outdoor education since 1989, starting as the first director of the Outdoor Skills Center in Plymouth WI.   He developed programs for youth, families, and adults in outdoor skills, environmental, and adventure education. Sterling then moved to the College of Natural Resources at UWSP where he managed a field station, taught an environmental education practicum course, and oversaw a forestry education program for schools.  He has led adult trips to Alaska, Wyoming, Costa Rica, and the Bahamas and countless youth trips in Wisconsin. He has also lead team building workshops for corporate executives and wilderness experiences for juvenile delinquents. He recently worked as a wrangler for an elk outfitter near Cody WY for 4 falls. He has a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State and a MS in Natural Resources/Environmental Education from UWSP.  Sterling is retired and lives with his wife Pat Marinac near Eagle River.