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NWSOS Navigation Training
(GPS / Map and Compass)

Have you ever had the desire to get off the beaten path and explore on your own or with a friend? How about using your compass to plot bearings from a contour map for a remote fishing trip to a secluded lake or stream? Or what about that backcountry hike you have always wanted to take to "get away from it all" but were concerned about getting lost? Wouldn’t it be great to have the calm assurance that within moments you could know right where you are and which way you need to travel to get back to your vehicle? Spend time with us in the following courses and learn to travel accurately off-trail with complete confidence. The following courses will provide basic through advanced training in either standard navigation methods (Map & Compass) and/or present day modern GPS navigation technology.

Map & Compass/Gps Seminars (combined) - Indoor
Learn the proper techniques for combining these amazing technologies. Topics to include:
  • Understanding necessary terminology for GPS and Map/Compass.
  • Accurate and effective map reading for GPS & M&C.
  • GPS overview.
  • Initializing & calibrating your GPS so it works properly.
  • Saving and editing locations in your GPS.
  • Common mistakes made by GPS users and how to avoid them.
  • How to utilize contour maps and a compass with your GPS.
  • Understanding and plotting map coordinates.
  • Entering desired positions into your GPS.
  • How to plot UTM coordinates from your map.
  • Plotting GPS positions on a map should you become "lost.”
  • Following bearings with your GPS and compass.
  • Plotting azimuths (bearings) with your compass.                             
  • 3 North’s: understanding & dealing with True, Grid and Magnetic as they relate to map, compass, & GPS.
  • Scale and distance.
  • How to navigate accurately to distant targets.
Price: $98
Night Navigation (GPS and Map/Compass combined) - Field Training

Navigating accurately after dark is a critical backcountry skill that must be practiced over and over. This course will begin to teach you the basics in accurate night navigation when you have made that all-important decision to hike and NOT stay put. Topics to include:

  • Tips on when and when not to travel after dark.
  • Handling poor visibility situations with confidence: darkness, white-out or dense fog.
  • Learn to navigate accurately during poor visibility.
  • Discussions will include how to prevent common navigation errors in low-light situations.
  • Route selection in rough terrain.
  • Teamwork and individual skills will be taught and used during the training.

Confidence in your abilities will significantly increase during night navigation as you “put it all together.”

Price: $49
GPS 1

This class is designed to teach you the basics in applying GPS in diverse settings. Training will begin indoors and transition to field work.Plan to hike a lot...and learn a wealth of information as you participate in this exciting course.

Contents of Training:

  • GPS overview – its development, how it works and why it works.
  • Initializing your GPS so it works properly for your location.
  • Saving and editing locations in your GPS.
  • Common mistakes made by GPS users and how to avoid them.
  • Handouts for important key functions with your GPS.
  • How to utilize USGS contour maps and a compass with your GPS.
  • Understanding and plotting map coordinates.
  • Entering desired positions into your GPS.
  • How to plot UTM coordinates from your map (essential for land applications).
  • How to use the coordinate system that works best for your applications.
  • How to easily plot your GPS position on a map should you become "lost."
  • How to follow bearings with your GPS and compass.

The morning segment of this course takes place indoors. The afternoon session transitions to forested areas with varied terrain.

Price: $195.00

GPS 2

This course takes place in the field and is specifically designed for all land-based applications: Hunting, hiking, backpacking, dnowmobiling, snowboarding, mountain biking, skiing, mountaineering, search and rescue, etc. It is also great launching point for all guides, instructors and other outdoor enthusiasts. It is physically demanding and mentally challenging.

Contents of Training:

  • Common GPS menu options most suitable to your needs.
  • How to accurately communicate your GPS location to others.
  • Tips to ensure your return to previously saved GPS locations.
  • Estimating and planning for GPS inaccuracies in the field.
  • A review of key backcountry applications.
  • How to accurately communicate your GPS location to others.
  • Estimating and planning for GPS inaccuracies in the field.
  • This event will test and refine all of your GPS navigation skills.
  • Extensive GPS plotting, route selection and hiking in varying types of terrain.
  • Learn to deal with just about every situation that could possibly occur on any future outing you may take with your GPS.
  • Altimeter use with your GPS will be taught and discussed to assist you in pinpointing your locations on maps.
  • Plan to hike several challenging miles off-trail as you hone all previously learned GPS techniques.
  • Night navigation.
    • Travel tips for limited visibility applications.
    • Boosting your confidence in how to accurately navigate during poor visibility situations.
    • Tips to ensure your timely return to previously saved GPS locations after dark.
    • Ways to insure that others can find you in a timely manner.
    • How to establish and work from baselines while attempting to find a specific location.
    • A mock-rescue with emphasis on finding others, or enabling others to find you.
    • Hiking to a variety of saved waypoints you plot from contour maps, or coordinates provided by your instructor(s).
    • Overcoming obstacles in the field.
    • Estimating and planning for GPS inaccuracies in the field.
    • Search techniques for the "needle in the haystack" during limited visibility situations.


Price: $495.00

Comprehensive GPS

Successful completion of this GPS course will dramatically enhance your resume as well as all future backcountry adventures. This is a great GPS skill’s test for all guides, instructors and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Contents of Training:

  • This course combines all the content and skills listed in the Standard I-IV skills training. The first day begins indoors and then transitions to the backcountry for the duration of the training. A key advantage of this format over the others – evenings of discussions and training, and a continuous program from start to finish.
Price: $695.00

Instructor Certification GPS

Contents of Training:

  • Consider this training a vital prerequisite for a career in backcountry-related travel or employment. The training reviews the content of the Comprehensive GPS training, yet also provides a format for every participant to instruct others in the group on a rotating basis. Strengths of this event – extensive hands-on training, instructional experience, and virtually nonstop learning experiences. Participants become certified in this specialty only after successfully completing and teaching all aspects of the training, as well as written and hands-on field testing.
Price: $1495.00

Map & Compass 1

Map & Compass 1 starts off indoors where you will learn to accurately and effectively read a map and plot azimuths (bearings) with your compass. After lunch we will head into the field for a navigation exercise aimed at strengthening and reinforcing the map & compass skills learned that day. Other topics covered:

  • Understanding necessary terminology and course plotting
  • Declination: true, grid and magnetic north
  • Scale and distance
  • Navigate accurately to distant targets
  • Navigating in poor visibility
Price: $195.00

Map & Compass 2

This course starts indoors and quickly moves into the field where we will strengthen the skills learned in M&C Level 1 before moving to other methods for locating your position on a map. Other topics covered:

  • Triangulation
  • Navigating by sun and stars
  • Overcoming obstacles in the field
  • Time and distance formulas
  • Night navigation
  • Altimeter use
Price: $495.00

Comprehensive Map & Compass

Successful completion of this course will dramatically increase your confidence for navigating in the wilderness. This course combines the content of Map & Compass Level 1 and 2. The first day begins indoors and quickly transitions to the backcountry for the duration of the training.

Price: $695.00

Instructor Certification Map & Compass

Contents of Training:

  • Consider this training a vital prerequisite for a career in backcountry-related travel or employment. The training reviews the content of the Comprehensive Map & Compass training, yet also provides a format for every participant to instruct others in the group on a rotating basis. Strengths of this event – extensive hands-on training, instructional experience, and virtually nonstop learning experiences. Participants become certified in this specialty only after successfully completing and teaching all aspects of the training, as well as written and hands-on field testing.
Price: $1495.00

Combined Map and Compass and GPS Training

This 6 day/5 night program combines all the content and skills listed in both the Comprehensive Map and Compass and GPS Programs. The first day takes place indoors, while the rest of training takes place in the backcountry at a variety of field locations. A major advantage to this program is that you can get all your GPS and Map and Compass training during the same week. You should never again have a problem navigating after successfully completing this course.

Price: $1495.00

2015 Course Dates:

Map & Compass/GPS Seminar
12 noon - 6 pm
Indoors/Field - $98


Night Navigation
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Field Training - $49


Dates/Locations
Aug 1 (Sat) - Sandy, OR
Sep 5 (Sat) - Sandy, OR
Oct 10 (Sat) - Sandy, OR


Mt. Hood Area:
GPS 1:

May 19 (Tues)
Jul 21 (Tues)
Sep 22 (Tues)


GPS 2:
May 20 - 21 (Wed/Thur)
Jul 22 - 23 (Wed/Thur)
Sep 23 - 24 (Wed/Thur)

Comprehensive GPS:
May 19 - 21 (Tues - Thurs)
Jul 21 - 23 (Tues - Thurs)
Sep 22 - 24 (Tues - Thurs)

GPS Instructor Cert:
Aug 4 - 6 (Tues - Thurs)
Oct 7 - 9 (Tues - Thurs)


Map & Compass 1:
May 16 (Sat)
Jul 18 (Sat)
Sep 19 (Sat)

Map & Compass 2:
May 17 - 18 (Sun/Mon)
Jul 19 - 20 (Sun/Mon)
Sep 20 - 21 (Sun/Mon)

Comprehensive Map & Compass:
May 16 - 18 (Sat - Mon)
Jul 18 - 20 (Sat - Mon)
Sep 19 - 21 (Sat - Mon)

M&C Instructor Cert:
Aug 1 - 3 (Sat - Mon)
Oct 3 - 5 (Sat - Mon)

SW Wyoming/NE Utah Area:
Comprehensive Map & Compass
Jun 6 - 8 (Sat - Mon)
Aug 8 - 10 (Sat - Mon)
Oct 10 - 12 (Sat - Mon)

Comprehensive GPS
Jun 9 - 11 (Tues - Thurs)
Aug 11 - 13 (Tues - Thurs)
Oct 13 - 15 (Tues - Thurs)

2014 Course Dates:

Map & Compass/GPS Seminar
12 noon - 6 pm
Indoors/Field - $98


Night Navigation
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Field Training - $49


Dates/Locations
Sep 6 (Sat) - Sandy, OR
Oct 11 (Sat) - Sandy, OR


Mt. Hood Area:
GPS 1:

Sep 23 (Tues)

GPS 2:
Sep 24 - 25 (Wed/Thur)

Comprehensive GPS:
Sep 23 - 25 (Tues - Thurs)

GPS Instructor Cert:
Oct 7 - 9 (Tues - Thurs)

Map & Compass 1:
Sep 20 (Sat)

Map & Compass 2:
Sep 21 - 22 (Sun/Mon)

Comprehensive Map & Compass:
Sep 20 - 22 (Sat - Mon)

M&C Instructor Cert:
Oct 4 - 6 (Sat - Mon)

SW Wyoming/NE Utah Area:
Comprehensive Map & Compass
Oct 11-13 (Sat - Mon)

Comprehensive GPS
Oct 14-16 (Tues - Thurs)

 

 

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