Parking passes are required on Saturdays. The Orientation Center and Cafe are open Thursdays – Saturdays. The property is closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays.

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Continuing Education Continuing Education

Map & Compass Navigation

Learn the techniques and importance behind map and compass navigation. Course Overview Have you ever gone off-trail to relieve...
Sat, May 13, 9:00 AM
Duke Farms  •  Hillsborough Township, NJ

About This Event

Learn the techniques and importance behind map and compass navigation.

Course Overview

Have you ever gone off-trail to relieve yourself and wondered what you would do if you got turned around? Maybe you need to get back to your vehicle before a thunderstorm rolls in but you aren’t sure you trust yourself to take an off-trail shortcut. This course teaches the off-trail map & compass skills needed for just such occasions.

Have you been telling yourself for years you would learn map & compass navigation but the opportunity never presented itself? This is your chance to learn it once and for all from Search and Rescue personnel. We’ll go over all the parts and features of the compass as well as becoming proficient with traveling along an azimuth (bearing) and feeling confident when navigating off-trail. Simplifying the way the skills are taught, focusing on correct compass stance form, training to a high accuracy when sighting landmarks, and overall simplification combined with proper technique repetition are what set this course apart. We’ll also dive into overall map reading, such as understanding all the symbols on a map, trail configurations, and reading contour lines like you’re reading a picture book. Students walk away with a level of confidence they did not think possible for their future adventures and now have the skills to get safely home even when… slightly misplaced.

A compass and a map will be provided for use during class if needed. More details provided after class registration.

Featured Topics:

  • Map reading including understanding contour lines
  • Orienteering techniques
  • Using a compass with a map
  • Compass use in the field

About the Instructors

Joe Galvan is a lifelong hiker and in his element when sharing outdoor experiences, mentoring others, and connecting with the outdoor-minded in our community. Joe is a search and rescue officer and instructor, MRA accredited mountain rescue unit lead, National Park Service Technical Rope Rescue instructor, Adirondack Winter Mountaineering School Instructor, Adirondack 46er, and an accomplished mountaineer with ascents across North America and Europe.

Scott Fitterman grew up hiking and camping in an outdoor-minded family and became a scout leader to give back when his 3 kids joined scouting. Scott is a search and rescue officer and instructor, volunteer EMT, wilderness first responder and wilderness EMT instructor, public safety diver, National Park Services technical rope rescue graduate, Catskill 35er, New York State Licensed Guide, and leads week-long treks in the backcountry for scouts in the northeast.

Learn more about the instructors and The TrailBound Project.


This program assumes participants are comfortable outdoors in the woods. This course will take place partially outdoors and will require some hiking on various trails (paved and unpaved) and terrains (uneven rocky off-trail hiking).

Program Guidelines

Please stay home if you are sick. Pre-registration is required, walk-ins will not be accepted. No refunds and no exchanging or transferring tickets. Please note that each participant must be registered. Unless otherwise noted, ALL programs at Duke Farms are RAIN or SHINE.

Please note that registration to a Saturday program comes with an entry pass. You DO NOT need to register separately for a Saturday Entry Pass.

Please contact with any questions.

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