Advanced Land Navigation

This training is designed for those who want to take their understanding of land navigation to the next level.

Our Advanced Land Navigation course is designed for those who already possess a solid understanding of the fundamentals of using a map and compass and want to take their skills and abilities to the next level in an intellectually and physically challenging format.  Your training will begin immediately with a series of checkpoints, then, from there, we’ll work to fine tune your skills.  You’ll also build upon them by learning such skills as coordinate systems (with an emphasis on UTM), triangulation, celestial considerations, and navigation psychology.  More importantly, you will apply and practice your skills while navigating over a variety of terrain types to a variety of challenging destinations.  When you are finished you will be able to plot and follow courses over different types of terrain, communicate your positions, determine North without a compass, and even be able to navigate without a compass.

This course is geared towards participants of all skill levels and backgrounds so no particular outdoor experience, prerequisites, or athletic ability is necessary. We only require that you already possess a solid understanding of navigation basics — determining your current position; knowing how to use your compass; setting a bearing to some point; then dead-reckoning there without assistance.  From there, we will work together to take care of the rest.  Please check out the “Level of Physical Difficulty” description down below for this course so that you can get the most out of the it.

Here is an overview of the program:

  • Course Duration: One day (seven hours)
  • Tuition: $150
  • Maximum Group Size: 10
  • Minimum Age: See below for details.
  • Start / End Times: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Quebec Run Wild Area (August 28); Hartwood Acres County Park (November 20).
  • Description of the Level of Physical Difficulty – Moderate:  This course involves hiking with laden backpacks, walking, and other activities over varying distances at a steady pace over varying terrain that will include off-trail sections, rough spots, unexpected obstacles, and low to steep inclines and declines.  This course is conducted in varying weather conditions, including hot, cold, humid, rain,  wind, and snow, or a mixed combination.  This course is best suited for those in good physical condition.
  • Required Minimum Skill Level – Prior Land Navigation Training & Recent, Ongoing Practice:  This course presumes that when you arrive to this class that you already possess a solid understanding of using a map and compass.  You should possess such minimum skills as finding your location on a topographic map, setting an appropriate bearing between two points, determine the distance between them, then be able to dead-reckon to your objective.  So, while your instructor will happily refresh certain skills in an effort to fine tune your ability, this course is NOT intended to be a dedicated “refresher course.”  In as much, if it’s been six (6) months or more since you last used a map and compass, or your navigation experience is limited to hiking trails, we strongly encourage you transfer to our Basic Land Navigation course.    

Check Out these Answers to Commonly Asked Questions:

What happens when I register?   One of our instructors will personally follow up with you regarding your contact information, basic medical information (for safety purposes), and our waiver.  Then we will send you a detailed course information sheet which will contain all of the applicable details, like required and recommended gear, exact gathering point, general driving directions.  For an overview of the gear list now, check it out further down.

Where is this course located?  Our primary training location for this course is Hartwood Acres County Park, which is located roughly 15 miles north of Pittsburgh in Indiana Township.

Are bathroom facilities available during the course?  Bathroom facilities will be available before and after this course, and at various times throughout the day.

What is the minimum age required for our courses?  In our open registration courses, children 15-17 years old are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian.  In our private courses, however, there is no set age requirement as it depends on the specific group’s needs and goals.

What about the Coronavirus?  True North continues to follow all Center for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines to minimize transmission of COVID.

What kind of gear do I need to bring?  True North will provide all of the needed training supplies, including maps and compasses.

AWN Equipment

Course equipment list – Click to enlarge.

If you would like a better sense of what additional gear that you need to bring on the course, or optional gear to consider, then check out the equipment list that will be included with the course information sheet (just “click” on the image to enlarge) when you register.

However, since one of our course goals is to teach you about various gear, plus offer you a chance to “test drive” it before you buy it, if you don’t have an item, don’t necessarily feel compelled to buy it right away … especially if it’s expensive.  Instead, contact us to see if we can loan you an item or make a recommendation for purchase.

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