Location: Left Coast - the land of fruits & nuts
Re: California DFG Offers Wilderness Navigation Course
This is an AWESOME class!
I have military experience and have tried to teach my kids land navigation. Learning from some other VERY experienced ex-military/outdoorsmen, gave my kids fresh insight that "dad" doesn't offer (Why is it that your kids always listen better to others?).
This is a great 2 day course.
Day 1 covers basic map reading, land navigation and field work with a compass. "Compass?" you say? What will you do when your GPS batteries die?? It is actually a great lead-in & introduction to understanding maps & terrain features. Be sure that you have a GOOD military grade Lensatic Compass for this day (it's worth the $80 investment anyway - buy a tritium lit one so you can read it in the dark/low light).
Day 2 is an introduction into GPS and how it functions. They then turn you loose in a remote Tejon Valley to do some geo-cashe chasing. The kids loved this. It also gets you thinking... a straight line isn't always the easiest path (across a lake, over a steep hill, or down a treacherous ravine).
If you spend ANY time in the outdoors, this course is a MUST DO! I even found it to be a great refresher!
Plus, you get a glimpse into the "mysterious world" of Tejon Ranch - one of the most picturesque ranches in California. BRING A CAMERA - it's the only way you'll be shooting this weekend (we saw trophy deer, pigs, elk, and a bobcat).
I cannot say enough about this great course! For what little money the State of California and DF&G spends on this course, I'm sure that it has saved the hundreds of thousands of dollars on a few Search & Rescue missions (and buy yourself a SPOT GPS rescue locator for those serious "crash & burns").
Every year many hunters and outdoorsman and women come out west from the midwest and east coast to hunt the prized mulies and elk. One topic that comes up often is altitude sickness. My advice for flatlanders is to get into the best possible shape. Start months before your hunt, usually really ramping up my cardio around March or April.
I run 5-10 miles 3 times a week, and also go for walks carrying my pack with about 50lbs to simulate what could be on my back. Another useful tip is to drink A...