Backcountry Navigation With A Map & Compass

10:00 AM  –  2:00 PM

Auburn SRA: Olmstead Loop Trailhead

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  • Fitness level  2: Easy Active
  • Skill level  1: Beginner
  • Group size: 12

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


Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the start time for parking and paperwork considerations. A $10 state park parking fee required for each vehicle (cash only) or CA State Park Poppy Pass.

Auburn SRA: Olmstead Loop Trailhead

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$10 CA SRA parking fee REQUIRED for each vehicle (cash only) or CA State Park Poppy Pass. Port-A-Potties and water available.