Welcome to Course 5 - Backcountry Navigation

"Backcountry Navigation" is the fifth course in our Backpacking 101 lecture series. You now have a strong grasp on all the types of clothing and gear used in the outdoor world as well as how to plan and map out your backpacking trip. Now it is time to hit the trail, break out your map and compass, and explore the wilderness. In this course we will cover the proper skills and techniques used in wilderness navigation as well as the best tools to use to help you find your way.

I first cut my teeth on compass and map skills back when I was training in the Seal Teams. We had begun a week long course in the mountains we called "Land Navigation" or "LandNav" for short. This course was spread out in the area known as Mt. Laguna which was located east of San Diego in the Laguna Mountains on the eastern edge of the Cleveland National Forest. After a day or two of adjusting to the elevation (I am from Louisiana lol) I really began to hone my skills and study the landscape. By the end of the week I completed the LandNav course in record time and my talent for pathfinding began. Since the military I have spent countless days in the wilderness perfecting my skills and now we want to pass that knowledge on to you. In this course we will cover all the essentials in navigation so that you can have greatest chance for a safe and successful trip. These essentials include; the different types of maps, how to read them, and how to find your location; all the parts of the compass, how to use them, and their relationship between the map and the landscape; modern GPS devices and how they can make your life easier; how to orient a map and yourself; as well as how to properly navigate in the field. The course is outlined as such:

  1. Maps
  2. Compasses
  3. GPS Devices
  4. Route-Finding
  5. Navigation Checklist
  6. Orientation
  7. Navigating in the Field
  8. Emergency Communication Devices
  9. Getting Un-Lost

Course Curriculum

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  Course Documents - Backcountry Navigation
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  Maps & Compasses
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  GPS Devices, Routefinding Skills, & Orienteering
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  Navigating in the Field, Emergency Communications, & Getting Unlost
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  Application Tutorials
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Hi, I’m your instructor, Jeremiah Pastor

The “Bullfrog” is one of the founders of AcadianX Outdoor Adventures and its Lead Expedition Guide. Inspired by his love of adventure he continues to explore his world and pass on what he has learned through a lifetime of wilderness ventures. Jeremiah is a former Navy SEAL and a veteran of the deep sea diving industry. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been trained in advanced field medical practices at the Special Operations Medical Training Course in Ft. Bragg, NC. In addition he is an expert in expedition planning and navigation and is responsible for most of the trips taken on by AcadianX.

Jeremiah has successfully guided multi-day backpacking adventures to places such as the Grand Canyon NP, Yellowstone NP, Yosemite NP, The Everglades NP, Death Valley NP, Zion NP, and Glacier NP just to name a few. He possesses world class leadership skills and loves to teach others the joy of exploring their world. His most memorable experiences are when he takes his teenage daughter on his adventures with him because the memories they create together will last a lifetime.

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Video Lectures, Comprehensive Resources, & Reinforcing Quizzes

This course is loaded with video lectures and demonstrations that go into great detail on the subjects covered. With each lecture are also detailed text that will give you a comprehensive view of each piece of clothing and equipment that we review. You will also be given access to downloadable gear lists and gear suggestions to help you start building your own gear loadout for your next adventure.

Learn Online & At Your Own Pace

This course is set up to be delivered in an online format when ever you are ready. Simply login and begin your session. You can pause and take breaks at any time or come back to it another day. This is a self pace study program so you can complete is as fast or as slow as you like.

Navigate the Wilderness Like a Pro!

This course is a comprehensive look at navigating in the backcountry. You will learn how to properly read a topographic map, take a bearing in the field, triangulate your position, navigate just using the terrain, find yourself when lost, and plot your heading on a map, just to name a few. In addition, we will go over tips and tricks used by the pros to keep themselves on track and to make finding your way look easy.