Activity Notes


Do you want to practice your map and compass skills close to home, alone or with a few friends? The Mazamas now have a permanent navigation practice course right here in Portland. This course will introduce you to the core skills of map interpretation and compass use, taking you on a walking tour of Portland’s scenic Mt. Tabor Park. Along the way you’ll learn a bit of local history, botany, geology, and of course, have a chance to practice navigation skills. The skills you’ll learn in this field exercise include:

Maps – Contours, Scale, Declination and UTM grid

Maps – Sense of direction and Orienting your map

Maps – reading UTM grid coordinates

Compass – Direction and bearings

Compass – Shooting and following a bearing

Compass – Following a bearing in low visibility or past an obstruction by leapfrogging

Map and Compass – Measuring a bearing between points on the map

To do the course, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of topographic maps (scale, contour lines, UTM coordinates) as well as compass declination. If you feel you need to brush up in these areas, please review the navigation portion of Freedom of the Hills or other suitable book before doing this exercise. (If you’re not sure if you need a review, read through the course notes to get a sense of how hard/easy it is for you.)

It should take between two and four hours to complete the course, depending on your prior navigation experience and the size of your group. An answer key is on the last page, so you can check your work as you go. Instructions are in the text for some of the compass work. You’ll need to print out two .pdf files from the links below:

1) a map of Mt. Tabor, and 2) the course notes. This color map prints on a single sheet of 8.5 by 11 inch paper. Please note that this is not a standard 1:24,000 scale USGS map. It has a custom scale, contour interval and UTM grid suitable for this smaller area. If it’s a soggy day, put the map in a ziplock baggie for weather protection. To read these files, you'll need Acrobat reader from Adobe on your computer, a free download. You’ll need to bring the following to Mt Tabor:

*Printout of the map (Will be sent to you)

*Printout of the 9 page course notes (Will be sent to you)

*Compass (ideally one with a baseplate and adjustable declination set to 17 degrees east)

*Pencil / pen

Registration is Closed

We’re sorry to report that registration is now closed for this activity and we are no longer accepting applications. The activity has either reached its maximum capacity or the registration period has ended.
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Have questions about registration or your application status?

Email or call (503) 227-2345

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Have questions about registration or your application status?

Email or call (503) 227-2345