Date and Time

Saturday, June 24, 2023, 9:00AM - 5:00PM


Blue Hills, ma,
Massachusetts, Southeast,


Registration is required for this activity. Please contact registrar below.

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This two-day weekend workshop teaches you Map & Compass skills. No prior experience required. We start with basic instruction and progress over the two days to cover some intermediate and advanced skills. Activities take place at the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts about 20 minutes south of Boston. On Saturday you'll learn how to read a topographic map, how to use a compass, and how a map and compass work together. In the afternoon you'll get to practice your skills on a directed hike in the Blue Hills. This will include a bushwhack between two trails. On Sunday every group will plan their own route to find flags both on-trail and off-trail where the flag location is shown on a US geological survey topographical map that does not show the trails. You will use the terrain features such as valleys, brooks, and hills to reach your destination as well as compass bearings. Each group will have an instructor to help facilitate the learning. ? Class size is capped, and students assign themselves to groups of 5 to 7. This promotes small group learning. In addition, each group will have an assistant teacher to help facilitate the group exercises. If the class if overbooked, preference will be given to SEM leaders and Leaders-In-Training who took the SEM April leadership class however the class is open to anyone interested in improving their Map & Compass skills. MATERIALS COVERED ? * Different types of maps and why hikers prefer a topographical map. * How to read a topographic map: scale, distance, colors, and more. * Understanding contour lines and how to interpret the different shapes and swirls. * The parts of a compass, how it works, and how to hold it. * How to measure a bearing from a map and plot a bearing onto a map * Declination and how to account for it and then forget it. * How to use a compass to follow a bearing in the field or take a bearing on an object. * How to orient a map to the real world and use it at intersections to find the correct trail. * How to plan a route and the use of offsets when bushwhacking between points. * Point, line, and area awareness. * Techniques to locate yourself on a map by taking a bearing on a known distant object (including triangulation) * Navigation using handrails to hike off trail. * Route planning and safety.

AMC Trip Policy


Adult: $99 member / $120 non-member
*Includes two full days of small group instruction. Printout of class material. Laminated crib-cards. Does not include compass. If you withdraw within two weeks of the workshop (after June 10) you may forfeit your fee if we cannot find someone to replace you.

Click map for driving directions
Map & Compass


Instruction (Skills)

Offered By

Southeastern Massachusetts




Adults (18+)


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Assistant Teachers: Doug Griffiths, Lindsey Meyers Bertone, Varma Saripalli, Julie Manley