Backcountry Navigation With A Map & Compass

9:00 AM  –  2:00 PM

Afton State Park - Visitor Center - 6959 Peller Avenue South, Hastings, MN 55033

Registration closed

  • Fitness level  2: Easy Active
  • Skill level  1: Beginner
  • Group size: 10

During this field outing, our instructors will help you understand the information provided on your map, the 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 hands on course is a great introduction to outdoor navigation and map reading!

  • Read a topographic map
  • Understand the difference between true north and magnetic north
  • Learn to calculate declination
  • Use a compass to take a bearing, plot your position on a map, and develop a route plan
  • Build confidence in your navigational skills

Afton State Park - Visitor Center - 6959 Peller Avenue South, Hastings, MN 55033

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More directions and information

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us Monday through Friday 8 AM - 5 PM at (952) 884-4315 x 221 and Minneapolis-os@rei.com OR Friday evening through Sunday on our after-hours phone: (612) 467-9161. This is a monitored mailbox so please send a text or leave a voicemail. All Minnesota State Parks require a daily/annual parking pass which can be purchased at the park office upon entry.