Learn how to navigate the backcountry from your computer with Aim Adventure U

aim adventure u navigate2
Don’t have the time or money for expensive in-person backcountry navigation courses, but intend on adventuring through the wilderness just the same? Aim Adventure U offers an online class in Backcountry Navigation so that you can learn basic skills without leaving the comfort of your own home.

This course was put together by the Colorado Outward Bound School and Backpacker magazine, and all the sections are taught by veteran Colorado Outward Bound School instructor Sienna Fry. The program is designed to be taken at your own pace, with all lessons available to be retaken as many times as you please. Once you’ve purchased the course, the materials are yours forever.

The sections are broken down into videos, reading, practice assignments, and quizzes. The practice assignments are intended to get you outside to apply your skills in the real world while the quizzes are intended to help you perfect the material and identify areas you might be struggling with.

Aim Adventure U’s Backcountry Navigation course is broken down into eight sections. The first section is on maps and teaches you how to read them, how to match contour lines to the landscape, and how to use latitude and longitude. The second section is on using a compass, offering tips on taking a bearing and location triangulation.

After teaching these basic skills, the course progresses to route planning, providing a comprehensive overview of how to calculate distance, measure elevation gain or loss, and identify landmarks. The fourth section is on digital GPS devices and how to implement real-world orienteering skills alongside a smartphone app or unit.

The fifth section takes all these skills and applies them to actual travel, whether on or off the trail. The course offers tips on how to stay found, navigate around obstacles, and what to do if you lose the trail. The sixth section touches on special navigation issues such as visibility and extreme weather and the seventh section addresses what to do if you do get lost, including how to backtrack and when to call for rescue.

The entire course takes around eight to ten hours to complete and can be purchased for $150 from Aim Adventure U.


Lyft pulls thousands of ebikes from three U.S. cities over safety issue

A brake problem affecting 3,000 electric bikes operated by Lyft-owned Citi Bike, Capital Bikeshare, and Ford GoBike has prompted the company to take the two-wheelers out of service until the issue is resolved.

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Smart Home

From the kitchen to the bedroom, here are the best Alexa tips and tricks

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa has plenty of neat skills. So many, in fact, it seems like new ones appear every day. We've rounded up the top Echo tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your virtual assistant.
Smart Home

Tired of running outdoors? Check out the best treadmills of 2019

Running can help melt away fat and strengthening your muscles. Compared to running outdoors, you're safer staying inside on a cushioned track. We've rounded up the best treadmills on the market.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Home Theater

Run to the beat of your favorite music with the best running headphones

Running is a great source of exercise but isn't always the most thrilling, especially when you're fiddling to keep your headphones in place. Check out our picks for the best headphones for running, so you never have to miss a beat again.

Puma is looking for volunteers to test its self-lacing sports shoe

Puma unveiled its high-tech self-lacing shoe at the start of the year, and now it's looking for volunteers from around the world to try it out and offer feedback so it can finalize the design prior to launch.

Lyft is offering free bikeshare rides to highlight Earth Day

To highlight Earth Day and promote its own green efforts, Lyft is offering free rides with its bikeshare programs in six cities across the U.S. on April 22. Anyone interested should check the service's website for full details.

Get cooking with a Masterbuilt meat smoker, now $230 off

Warm weather means it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors, but meat lovers know that spring and summer are prime cookout time. The Masterbuilt meat smoker – on sale from Walmart for $230 off – is an excellent way to prepare meat like a…
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?