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Map and Compass Skills for Women

  • Boston Outdoor School 131 Walnut St Saugus United States (map)
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Course full? Email me to get on the waitlist.


Duration: 3 hours


Cost: $55

Age: 16+


With the advent of GPS technology on our smartphones, navigating by compass has become something of a lost art. It’s easy to see why: in clear skies, modern GPS receivers can determine a person’s location accurately and quickly with little to no skill necessary. But here’s the thing: GPS units are electronic, and electronics fail at the most inopportune times. Sometimes, they run out of battery power; sometimes, after years of use, they fail. Furthermore, they can usually only tell which way you’re facing once you’re on the move.

Compasses, on the other hand, are nigh indestructible. They don’t require batteries, don’t have screens to break, and don’t need software updates. When protected with either waterproof coatings or careful storage, maps rarely fail. Keeping these two simple items in your pack—and knowing how to use them—is a small step that could save you a lot of trouble.

This course will teach you a set of skills that every outdoor woman should know --basic map and compass! This course will walk you through the tools you can use to get professional topographic maps, and then teach you everything you need to know in order to use them effectively.

Each lesson comes with instruction broken down into easily digestible sections. This approach makes even the most complex concepts understandable, and more importantly, actionable.

Course topics include:

  • Get to Know Your Compass

  • How to Correct for Declination

  • Learn about different types of compasses

  • How to Find Your Location with a Compass

  • How to Find Your Bearings With a Compass

  • Using Your Smartphone as a Compass

  • Types of maps

  • How to choose a map for your activity

  • Where to source maps

  • How to read topographical maps

  • How to communicate coordinates on a map

  • How to perform basic compass skills

Meghan Brake.jpg


Megan Brake

An avid hiker, Megan discovered her love for walking over mountains while living in Southern California, and that passion for hiking has carried her around the world. To date, she has explore the Himalayas, the mountains of Korea, the volcanoes of Indonesia, and once spent three months hiking across the Andes of Peru. She almost always hikes without a guide, planning and executing all her own trips no matter where she goes in the world, and she wants to share this knowledge and confidence with others. These days, you can usually find her pouring over maps of the White Mountains, looking for potential stealth camping spots and planning her next weekend excursion. Her goal is to inspire others, especially women, to overcome their fears and insecurities and gain the confidence (and knowledge) needed to head out into the wilderness. You can read more about her travels and adventures on her blog,  Into Foreign Lands.

What to Bring:

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Earlier Event: April 13
Introduction to Forest Bathing
Later Event: April 20
Natural Movement in Nature