Stretch Your Outdoor Skills With These Three Classes

Contributor: Brittany Hopkins

What’s on your agendas this month, Urban Deers? If you’re seeing a few holes on your calendar and wondering what adventures to get into next, look no further. We’ve scoured local events calendars to bring you a few intriguing ways to build new skills before summer officially arrives. Here’s what we found:

Learn to Climb Actual Rocks

San Franciscans love their climbing gyms, but if you’re heading to Mission Cliffs or Planet Granite, don’t tell a fellow climber that you’re going ‘rock climbing’. I’ve been scolded for this offense more times than I care to admit. But they make an excellent point; climbing actual rocks is much trickier. Out in the wild hand and footholds typically don’t protrude obviously from the rock walls’ surfaces and there are absolutely no neon routes to follow — which you may like even better!

To help you find out, Outback Adventures holds ‘Introduction to Rock Climbing’ courses once or twice a month at various locations around the Bay Area. Click here to view their next classes in May.

Learn to Rely on Your Internal Navigation System

Does your heart race and brain turn to mush every time you open a map? Do you wear a compass around your next because it looks cool, but have no idea how to actually use it? Then the Bay Area Orienteering Club can help! Join these navigation gurus Sunday, May 31 in Golden Gate Park for an introduction to navigating sans GPS. While it may be challenging to leave your phone in your pocket, they promise it’ll be fun and will likely lead you to areas of the park you’ve never explored.

Learn to Survive off the Land

For those of you who already scale rocks in your sleep and put your compass to good use, have you ever wondered if you could survive in the backcountry with only the clothes on your back? To be honest, we haven’t either, but Adventure Out’s wilderness survival class made us wonder! The Saturday, May 17, class will teach participants how to live off the land — including making a shelter, building a fire and identifying edible plants. While I’m sure they don’t recommend wandering off into the wild to test out your new found skills, it sounds like a fun and useful class that will make a great story for your next cocktail party.