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Navigating with a Map and Compass

Schedule and location

Saturday, November 7, 2020, noon to 4:00 p.m. Register Now
Thornhill Education Center 

Fees and registration

$39.00 member
$46.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 or to be waitlisted ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course description

Be prepared for your next wilderness outing. Learn to find your way around using a map and compass. While GPS devices and apps are convenient, what happens when the battery dies? Knowing how to navigate without technology is an essential skill for any outdoor adventurer.

In this class, you will

  • learn how to read a topographic map
  • understand the parts of a basic compass and their purpose
  • use the compass to orient your map
  • take bearings from a map to find your way to a destination
  • use the landscape to find out where you are on the map
  • Learn what to look for when purchasing a compass

After some time in the classroom learning the basics, head out onto the grounds to practice.

Course number



Nathan Hambel, field study guide and naturalist

Nate Hambel is a Naturalist with the Willowbrook Wildlife Center for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.  He has been teaching outdoor recreation and environmental education since 2008 and is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation.  He also teaches Field and Experiential Learning with the College of DuPage as an Adjunct faculty member.  He is passionate about conservation education and travels around the world connecting people with nature.    

Course details

  • Notes: Held outdoors; please dress for the weather. Dress in layers and plan to spend extended time standing and moving around outdoors. Bring water and a snack. Limit 10
    Supplies: Bring your own compass if you have one; you may also borrow a compass from the Arboretum. This class will not cover the use of GPS devices. 

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies

Navigating with a Map and Compass