Backcountry Navigation with a Map and Compass

6:00am10:00am PST
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$79 for REI Members

$109 for non-members

Registration closed


  • Fitness level 2 Easy Active
  • Minimum age 14
  • Group size 10 people

During this class, our instructors will help you understand a topographic map, proper use of your compass, and how to put the two together. You'll learn about magnetic north, true north, and magnetic variation (declination). After covering these fundamentals, you'll get time to practice taking a bearing from the terrain and your map so that you can make sense of your position and plan a route. This engaging course is a great introduction to outdoor navigation and map reading! Please arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the start time listed and come prepared with personal snacks and water. Participants under 18 must be accompanied registered adult.

  • Confidently comprehend a topographic map
  • Learn to calculate declination
  • Use a compass to take a bearing, plot your position on a map, and develop a route plan.

What to bring with you

Map image of West Palisades - Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

More directions and information

We will be meeting at the Akers Ridge Parking area at West Palisades. If you have any issues, please contact us @ (877) 819-3813. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area charges a $5 parking fee per day, or you may purchase an annual pass for $40. Visit the CRNRA site for more information and to purchase your parking pass: . Please note that the bathrooms are a 10-minute hike from the parking lot.