Saturday, July 6, 2024

Basic Navigation Class returns to Paul Smith’s VIC on July 18

Man stands on a hiking trail in the woods

For many years, particularly while I lived in Oregon and cross-country skied, it was my ambition to learn how to navigate with a compass. I love maps. The first time I drove cross country was in 1979, from Pennsylvania to Oregon. In those days of course, we did not have cell phones, a GPS, or Google Maps. But I did have a road map, and a healthy fear of getting lost. To this day, I don’t go anywhere without a road map as backup in my car. 

As a volunteer, I wanted to share that once again Paul Smith’s VIC will be offering the opportunity to learn Basic Land Navigation skills. The class will be held on Thursday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $75. Register online here. 

My dream to learn to use a compass came true when I took a basic navigation class at the VIC in 2021. It was a fantastic, well structured program that included some actual navigation exercises. It was also entertaining as our instructors shared some of their unique rescue stories. And while I am still not a compass guru, I’ve experienced a greater confidence in my abilities, as well as an enjoyment of reading topographical maps.  

Here’s how the navigation class is described on Paul Smith’s VIC website:

Who better to learn basic land navigation skills from than former Forest Rangers who’ve spent their careers in the backcountry of the Adirondacks? You will learn the basics of using a map and compass, including how to read topographic maps. By the end of the program, you’ll be putting these new skills to use for your own adventures.”

If you are like me, and hate the idea of getting lost, consider taking this wonderful class.

For more information, please click here.

Photo at top: Scott van Laer, Director, Paul Smith’s VIC. Provided photo.

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Linda Friedman Ramirez is a resident of Saranac Lake. She previously owned an art gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida, and appreciates how art is integral to a community. She enjoys writing about the people of the Adirondacks.

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