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April Navigation Course


We can’t teach you everything about outdoor survival in 3 weeks, but we can give you enough direction to keep you out of the woods when you’re in the woods.

The first item on the Mountaineers’ wilderness 'Ten Essentials' list is navigational equipment, but why bother carrying a map, compass, and GPS if you don’t know how to use these tools? Besides, aren't there apps for knowing your precise location to within a tenth of an inch?

Unfortunately, the backcountry doesn’t have the right adapter for your smartphone charger and Verizon’s satellites might not always find you in the remote gullies of Chelan County. GPS and other electronic tools can be a handy and efficient supplement to outdoor navigation, but should be used alongside their trusty companions-- a map and compass. Navigational tools, of course, are only as useful as the brain that operates them, which is why WenatcheeOutdoors is offering this Outdoor Navigation course this April.

Classes will cover basic and intermediate map, compass, and GPS skills and give students field time to cement those skills. These skills are necessary for all who enjoy exploring our mountains and public lands whether by bike, horseback, or foot. The course will be taught by Andy Dappen, editor of WenatcheeOutdoors.org.

You do not need to own a GPS unit to take the class -- we will have several units to share during the class. The basic GPS principles we cover will be useful for both specialized GPS units and smartphones with GPS apps. All class participants will eventually want to own an orienteering-style compass like the one pictured here. It is recommended (although not absolutely necessary) that you purchase and bring such a such a compass to class with you.


Thanks to: the Wenatchee Parks and Recreation Department and to our major sponsor, Cascade Subaru. Both organizations partnered with us to make this course possible and affordable.

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Details, Details

The course consists of 3 classroom sessions and one weekend, cross-county outing to practice learned skills. It is open to students ages 13 and older. The registration fee is payable to WenatcheeOutdoors.org.

Dates: April 10, 17, 24 (Wednesdays)
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Wenatchee Public Services Center (1350 McKittrick St.)
Cost: $55 for the whole series
Weekend Outing: Date/location TBD

To register or find out more, contact Sarah Fitzgerald in Parks & Recreation at (509) 888-3284 or sfitzgerald@wenatcheewa.gov.


The Wenatchee Parks & Rec Department summer activity guide recently announced a variety of other outdoor recreation opportunities this summer including:

  • Guided nature hikes with the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.
  • Wenatchee Foothills events with CDLT.
  • Open rowing with Wenatchee Row and Paddle Club (Saturdays, 7-9 AM).
  • Junior row and paddle clubs with WRPC (4/1-4/4, 6/24-6/27).
  • Free family canoe adventures with WRPC (4/13, 5/11).
  • Swimming at the Fuller St. pool.


Photo: With the skills learned in this class, you won't be asking yourself this question
.