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Adult Opportunities

Navigating with a Map and Compass (in person)

Improve your navigation skills before your next outdoor adventure.

Content Detail

Learn how to find your way using a map and compass. While GPS devices and apps are convenient, what happens when the battery dies? Knowing how to navigate without technology is an essential skill for any outdoor adventurer.   

In this class at The Morton Arboretum, you will   

  • learn how to read a topographic map.  
  • understand the parts of a basic compass and their purpose.  
  • use the compass to orient your map.  
  • take bearings from a map to find your way to a destination.  
  • use the landscape to find out where you are on the map.  
  • learn what to look for when purchasing a compass.  

After some time in the classroom learning the basics, head out onto the grounds to practice. Please bring your own compass if you have one. This class will not cover the use of GPS devices.  

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.  

Instructor: Nathan Hambel   

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently.   

Age: 16 and older  


Nathan Hambel, wildlife interpreter, Willowbrook Wildlife Center  

Nate Hambel is a wildlife interpreter at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he educates visitors about urban wildlife, the center’s resident animals, and the rehabilitation of injured animals. With a master’s degree in biology, Hambel is an avid birder and outdoors person, leading programs and trips that help people connect with nature.

What to Know

This program meets indoors and outdoors. Check the forecast and dress for the weather.  

Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes and plan to walk more than a mile on uneven terrain.  

Bring your own compass if you have one; you may also borrow a compass from the Arboretum.   

Note: This class will not cover the use of GPS devices. 

Program Schedule

Saturday, April 8, 2023, noon to 4:00 p.m.

Thornhill Education Center


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