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Introduction to Map- and Compass-Skills Course

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This four-hour course is just what you need to confidently navigate through the outdoors.
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Activity level: Easy
  • Minimum age: 10 (14 and under with parent or guardian)
  • Questions? Please call 1-888-552-3261

Course Description

A great course for individuals new to navigating with a compass. Our map and compass course will introduce you to the techniques and tools essential for wilderness navigation.

You'll start with a detailed look at the components of a USGS topographical map. Our experts will explain the importance of contour, terrain, how to read a map legend, and how to access maps that are best for your outdoor activity.

During this course, students will also learn the components of a handheld compass, how to use and trust the compass, plus how to obtain and follow a bearing from map to compass and compass to map. Additionally, your instructor will discuss declination (magnetic north vs. true north) and its importance in navigating with a map and compass.

This is a hands-on skills-based course; please come prepared to participate indoors and out.

All necessary navigation aids (map and compass) are provided.

L.L.Bean does not usually cancel events due to inclement weather. However, we reserve the right to cancel an event at any time due to severe weather, low enrollment or other concerns. If L.L.Bean cancels your event, you will receive a full refund for the cost of your reservation.

Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy

*Synthetic clothing dries quickly and is the best choice for outdoor pursuits. Please do not wear cotton clothing. When wet, cotton rapidly robs the heat from your body and takes a long time to dry. We also recommend you dress in multiple layers, allowing you more flexibility to comfortably respond to weather conditions and your level of exertion.

Less Details
Additional Course Details
Call us for questions or information.
Event Location
Nearest L.L.Bean Store:
What to Bring
  • Weather- and activity-appropriate clothing (preferably synthetic*)
  • Hiking footwear
  • Personal prescriptions such as EpiPen or inhaler
  • One quart of water (no glass bottles)

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • Snack

What We Provide
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Use of all necessary activity equipment: compass, local Topo Maps, etc.
Average Ratings
5 / 5
May 27, 2021
Map and Compass Skills Course
This course was excellent and included many hands on activities to give a good understanding of using a compass to navigate when hiking and using a map.... more
Freeport ME
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2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
5 / 5
October 25, 2020
This is the second time I've taken this class. The first time I took it was with an instructor who was far inferior and LLBean offered me the opportunity... more
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1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
5 / 5
October 5, 2020
Awesome class - wonderful instructor.
I took map and compass in Albany with Chad. The course was amazing - Chad presented the class in a logical, understandable way. He's a great instructor... more
Albany, NY
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1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
5 / 5
October 4, 2020
Great Class!! Phenomenal instructor!!
I ditto what others mentioned. I took a class in Albany that Chad instructed. He was very knowledgeable and kept my interest. I didn't have much background... more
Albany, NY
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5 / 5
September 25, 2020
great course
Our instructor, Bruce at Downingtown, Pa, did a great job with this course. I have been wanting to take this course for a long time and am so glad that... more
West Chester, PA
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5 / 5
August 30, 2020
Map and Compass Course
This class was a great introduction to a topic I'm unfamiliar with. I was concerned 4 hours would be a LONG time but it wound up being just right... more
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5 / 5
August 21, 2020
Intro to Map & Compass
Pete was a great and enthusiastic instructor. He knew the material well and you could tell he's used it in search and rescue situations. There was a range... more
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1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
5 / 5
August 2, 2020
Highly Recommend
Traveled 4 hrs RT for this 4-hour course with our instructor, Bob, in Freeport, ME. Well worth it! Our class of six participants came with a range of knowledge... more
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5 / 5
February 17, 2020
February 2020- fantastic class!
Where to begin? I echo everyone else’s reviews of Chads map and compass class. He truly is an wonderful instructor With a depth of knowledge and love that... more
Germantown ny
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5 / 5
December 17, 2019
Learned so much!
I took Chad's intro map & compass class in Dec 2019 (Albany NY) and it exceeded my expectations. Chad's subject matter knowledge was very... more
Albany, NY
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