Friday, May 24, 2013


THE USE OF THE MAP and compass is a skill that should be learned by individuals who visit the outdoors often and, these days, it do not come cheap. This blogger, through his Grassroots Bushcraft Teaching Series, realised the dream of every aspiring outdoorsmen to learn this skill by offering a Basic Map Reading class for FREE last February 17, 2013.

The first part of this lecture is done indoors. Sixteen people came equipped with their own compass, protractor, clipboard and pencil. This blogger supplied the lecture handouts and the test maps. The venue is a room of an abandoned building inside the former Department of Agriculture compound in M. Velez Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City.

Those who participated were Glenn Pestaño, Randell Savior, Marjorie Savior, Ernie Salomon, Silver Cueva, Dominic Sepe, JB Albano, Fulbert Navarro and Rajii Echavez of Camp Red Bushcraft & Survival Guild; Barry Paracuelles, Chad Bacolod and Darean Heyrosa of the Mountain Climbers Alliance of the Philippines; Don Singson and Kulas Damaso of Outdoorman’s Hub; Boy Toledo of the Cebu Mountaineering Society; and freelancers Antonette Bautista and Patrick Henry Calzada.

The indoor instructions start at 8:00 AM. Points of discussion are the basics of map and compass; how to use the scale bar; interpreting contour lines; identifying land features; locating a bearing; understanding declinations; orienting the map and compass; grid lines and grid coordinates; and triangulation techniques. This is a very technical lecture and you have to repeat every point of discussion so all could absorb it well.

In between, Remy Ababa of Honolulu, Hawaii arrived and brought free refreshments for us and distributed, of his own free will and goodness of heart, free trauma kits, side-plate pockets, 5.11 belts, a Mountainsmith bag, two big Maglites, Duracell batteries, Omega locking carabiners, aluminum clipboards, ball pens, 300 meters paracord, an ammo vest, a camouflaged backpack and a 1.5 liter [yellow tail] Shiraz.

Meanwhile, Wil Rhys-Davies came and lent his expertise in land navigation by teaching the participants simple compass exercises. The lecture momentarily go outdoors for this occasion and everyone try to understand their compass, their bearing and their location in relation to the magnetic north. The participants added certain knowledge from this and all went back indoors for the recap. Indoors lecture officially end at 11:00 AM.

By 1:00 PM, four groups of three persons each are released for the outdoor practicals at Banawa Hills. This blogger accompanied the participants and instructed them to sight and get bearings of the dome of the Cebu Provincial Capitol and the water tower of the South Road Properties so all could ascertain their location and mark a dot on the map where they assume they are standing on.

Those who learned fast sighted another set of bearings. One group concentrated their gaze and orienting arrow to the Marco Polo Hotel and the Waterfront Hotel and Casino and confirmed their earlier assumption of location whereby they proceed to their next destination up the hill. All are instructed to produce hereon two locations using the resection method, one location for a modified resection and another by dead reckoning.

Critique and review is done at the Red Hours Convenience Store. This blogger and Wil wait of their coming. There would be five locations that I will analyze from each group. By 5:00 PM, all arrive in one piece and continue plotting their course at the vacant tables and submit their test maps for checking. Later, Mayo Leo Carillo, a previous participant arrive and join in the post-activity discussion and donated his Silva compass to this blogger.

It was another successful event and have added a very important skill for the participants. Not only that, they go home toting giveaways courtesy of Remy and get to know of Wil and the engine behind this blog.

Document done in LibreOffice 3.3 Writer

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