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").
I just got back from my elk trip to Colorado and must say that I learned quite a bit about hiking in that one trip. I researched all I could on the internet and thought I was prepared going out. For the most part I was but I want to pass on a few major things I learned that helped me drastically!
1. Pack light. I know this may sound like common sense but believe me. After reading everyone's advice on what you need to pack, chances are your pack will end up weighing more...