I recently joined my local SAR (Search and Rescue) team and have been excitedly signing up for different types of training offered. Last weekend was navigation training.
I finally learned how to properly use a compass and to understand what it was telling me. I learned how to plot a course using a map and compass. More importantly I learned how to properly read a map, a topographical map at that. Just because it is only 4 miles as the crow flies doesn't mean that it's 4 miles as Jenn walks, this is where the topographical map comes in handy.
I lucked out and had a fabulous seatmate for the course. Thankfully we both shared a similar sense of humor and a mutual annoyance with the instructors use of the word "awesome" and the suffix "-ish" every other word. We coined a new word by the end of class ... "awesomeish"!
I have discovered that I love navigation. Maybe I just love learning... whichever, I want to take further orienteering courses. Speaking of orienteering, do you know how hard it is to find books on orienteering? I have checked several bookstores, sporting goods stores, dept stores and backcountry supply stores to no avail. I did, however, find a map and compass book which has good basic information. As my seatmate said, it is almost as though all navigation has become GPS oriented and to find any information on map and compass you'll have to look in the history section haha.
A co-worker gave me a GPS unit when he found out I'd joined SAR, which was very kind of him. Tonight I decided to have a play with it. I googled Geocaching in my area and took some co-ordinates. I plugged them into the GPS and headed out. I found the spot the cache should have been at, but since it was night and the area was under snow I didn't find the actual cache. I did however find that this could possibly become and addiction for me.... Yes, I think I like Geocaching!
Who knew navigation could be so much fun!!
Go on, tell me to get lost, I just may take you up on that ;)