MDC invites outdoor adventurers to discover the skill of compass and map use Oct. 2 at Shaw Nature Reserve

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GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. — Knowing how to navigate through the woods and countryside is an important skill for outdoor adventurers.  GPS technology is very helpful, but what happens when the batteries die?  There’s no substitute for the tried-and-true map and compass and mastering the art of orienteering.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is presenting a Compass and Map class Monday, Oct. 2 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Shaw Nature Reserve.  The program is free and open to ages five and up.

The compass is an excellent tool for hikers, hunters, and others who travel into the field.  It can help travelers reach their destination, identify their location, and map a route. Attendees will learn how to do all three at this hands-on orienteering program. It will cover the parts of a compass and how to properly hold one for an accurate reading.  How do the compass points relate to cardinal directions?  What’s the difference between true north and magnetic north?  Why does it matter?  These are some of the questions the class will address.

Participants will then put their new skills into action with practical navigation activities using a compass, which will be a treasure hunt for free giveaways. This event will take place outdoors, so attendees should have proper footwear for gravel trails, plenty of water, and prepare for the weather.

This Orienteering class is a free program, but advanced online registration is required at  All planning to attend the event should register separately. Children younger than 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Shaw Nature Reserve is located in Gray Summit at 307 Pinetum Loop Road, on the south side of I-44 off exit #253.

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