Map Reading for Explorers (Customized Learning)

A map is a great tool to help you explore the uncharted. With it, you can find new places, navigate unfamiliar terrain and cityscapes, save time getting from one point to another and even help you find yourself if you wind up lost. Whether you prefer one-on-one coaching, online mentoring, or group instruction, you can improve your map reading skills through Uncharted’s Map Reading Instruction.




We offer a variety of training formats including:

  • one-on-one coaching in the field
  • live online video mentoring
  • in-person group instruction
  • custom-made navigation challenge events
  • custom navigation planning for an upcoming journey

How To Get Started

Schedule a free online consultation by filling out the form on this page. We’ll talk with you about your goals and which skills we should focus on for your training.  We’ll also offer some initial advice. We’ll then prepare a custom training plan just for you or your organization. You can choose any combination of the following skill sets:

  • Types of maps, terminology, fundmentals
  • How to find maps for your trips (hard copy or electronic)
  • Terrain Interpretation
  • Route Planning
  • Orienting a Map
  • Calculating travel times and distances
  • Using coordinate systems
  • Helpful Online Tools
  • Using maps with GPS
  • Loading Maps onto a GPS
  • Displaying Maps onto a GPS
  • Aerial or satellite imagery interpretation
  • Map and Compass
  • Dealing with magnetic declination
  • Using a map when lost
  • Best practices and common mistakes


We are available throughout the year during all seasons. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Individuals, Groups, Companies

Skill Level:

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.


Schedule your training and indicate preference for online or in-person formats. Recurring training opportunities also exist in Colorado and Utah. Arrangements for coaching during an excursion away from home is also possible.


Prices are comparable with community college classes and workshops.

About the Instructor


Joseph Burkhead is Uncharted’s resident geographer. He has instructed land navigation skills and contributed navigation expertise to numerous groups including search & rescue, scouting and military units, K-12 school classes, adventure clubs, geography clubs, universities, and corporations. He holds a master’s degree in geography and has instructed geospatial information systems (GIS) at Western Michigan University. The United States Air Force awarded Joe an Achievement Medal specifically for his mapping and geographic skills that “probably saved lives” during a complex operation. He is also an accomplished orienteering athlete and aviator.

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