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The objective is to practice pacing and compass use skills.  Each of five courses has a starting point (pink flag or other field marker) and an ending point (green flag or other field marker).  Both starting and ending points are labeled with the course number, one through five.  Each course has three legs, each with a different azimuth and distance.  Any compass course can be set up for students to practice with.  Most schools have field in which to set up a course, but lawn maintenance is something that must be taken into account is some cases.  The following table shows five course network that worked for the Rapid River class. 

Establish your pace first.  A pace is TWO steps.  For consistency, always start with your left foot and count each pace when your right foot hits the ground.  Walk normally.  Each pink starting point is one chain apart.  Pacing should be practiced many times over the five chain distance to determine your average number of paces per chain.  The best way to count paces is to walk the entire course at once, then divide the number of paces by the number chains walked.  The course can be walked two or three times to provide a better average.  Most people have 11-13 paces per chain.

Once you have an idea of what your pace is, try a compass course beginning at one of the pink starting point flags.  Run each of the three legs using the azimuths and distances below.  You should end up at a green flag labeled with the same number as the starting point.  Complete all five courses and repeat them for practice.  Pace and compass work are basic field forestry skills.   

Course 1 

Leg 1:  340o and 2.0 chains
Leg 2:  234o and 2.0 chains
Leg 3:  157o and 2.0 chains 

Course 2 

Leg 1:  328o and 3.0 chains
Leg 2:  232o and 1.5 chains
Leg 3:  136o and 2.0 chains

Course 3 

Leg 1:  332o and 2.5 chains
Leg 2:  228o and 1.5 chains
Leg 3:  118o and 2.0 chains

Course 4 

Leg 1:  288o and 3.0 chains
Leg 2:    10o and 2.0 chains
Leg 3:    84o and 4.0 chains 

Course 5

Leg 1:  328o and 0.5 chains
Leg 2:      4o and 4.0 chains
Leg 3:    78o and 3.0 chains

Click the thumbnail for a rough drawing of the compass course.


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