Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I register for a class?

On line: You may register for classes directly from our website. Just go to the page of the class in which you are interested.  At the bottom of the page are several payment options - please remember to fill out and submit a registration for as well.

Mail: You may complete a registration form and mail it, along with your full course payment or non-refundable non-transferable deposit, to 657 Coal Hollow Road, Christiansburg, Virginia 24073.

Phone: Call our office at (540) 552-2596 Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST.

How do I set up a custom training for myself?
Thank you for your interest in taking advantage of our ability to offer custom training. We recommend you contact the school’s founder and Lead Instructor, Rob Speiden. In that contact you are welcome to provide some background, and please specify what kind of training (land navigation, tracking, both, etc) interests you. Rob will respond to your contact within a day or two with details on how to proceed. These details typically include determining how many days of training you would like, how soon you would like to conduct that training, and where (here in Christiansburg or at a location of your choice).

How do I set up a custom training for a group of people?
Thank you for your interest in taking advantage of our ability to offer custom training. We recommend you contact the school’s founder and Lead Instructor, Rob Speiden. In that contact you are welcome to provide some background, and please specify what kind of training (land navigation, tracking, both, etc) interests you. Rob will respond to your contact within a day or two with details on how to proceed. These details typically include determining how many people you would like to train, days of training you would like, and how soon you would like to conduct that training. 

How many days of land navigation training will it take for me to be able to successfully complete the SFAS qualification course (star course)?
While this is a reasonable question to ask, the truth is we cannot give a fixed answer of a certain number of days. Each person that trains here arrives with different experience (from total beginner to fairly skilled) and learning styles. It is recommended that you anticipate at least two days of training to see a significant improvement in your navigation skill set. Most personnel request 3 to 4 days to start. After an initial training event (2 to 4 days), we will print out maps of areas convenient to you (near home, work or deployment) for you to practice on your own. We have had several people return after practicing on their own to gain more mentored experience to boost their confidence in long distance land navigation.

Can you guarantee I will pass SFAS selection if I train with you?
I can guarantee that your land navigation sklll set will improve with our training. Due to A significant fraction (over 37% according to Mjr. Joe Martin’s Get Selected) of recruits getting out of SFAS because of voluntary withdrawal and almost 20% being removed for PT reasons, we cannot guarantee that you will pass the overall qualification course.

Do you have an upper/lower age limit for your classes?
There is no upper age limit for our classes — we often have students well into their retirement years, who then go on to take many classes after that. Please understand that we will be conducting training outside in various weather conditions and working on the ground and in hilly terrain. All students under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. 

My child is/I am under 18, but I really want to come to a N.A.T.S. class, what can I do?
We love hearing that young adults are interested in our classes! Unfortunately, due to legal restrictions, all minors must be accompanied by a paying adult in the class.

Can you search for or track my lost pet?
Unfortunately we do not have the resources or experience to search for missing or lost pets.

How early can I sign up for a class?
You can sign up for a class as soon as it appears on the schedule, however, please keep in mind that once you have registered, if you are unable to attend the class for whatever reason, our Cancellation Policy will apply.

When is the latest that I can sign up for a class?
If a class is not full, we ask that you sign up a minimum of two weeks prior to the class start date, so that we can ensure that the class will be conducted and appropriate logistics are in place for the number of students enrolled at that time. Certainly if the class is still open, you are welcome to sign up as late as the day before the class.

When will next year’s schedule be posted?
We typically are able to post next year’s schedule by October of the current year.

Do you have any online classes?
We have not developed any online classes due to the fact that land navigation and tracking are field skills that require hands-on, mentored-based teaching to master. We look forward to meeting and working with you in person, in the field.

Can you teach me to evade or avoid being tracked (i.e. anti-tracking)??
We do teach anti-tracking to active law-enforcement and military personnel. We will not teach anti-tracking techniques to civilians.

I see that you are located in Virginia, do you teach any classes out west (e.g. California) or can you recommend any other schools out there?
The only classes we have set up at this time for open enrollment are in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. We are set up to teach, and have taught, across the whole country.  If you are interested in setting up a course in your area, please see above for custom course information. As far as we know, we are the only professional quality school that teaches land-navigation as a stand-alone course topic, or that can offer to teach custom courses according to your schedule.

How can you justify charging volunteers like Search & Rescue and other EMS providers for classes?
Our instructors are search and rescue volunteers themselves, and completely understand and appreciate the contributions of volunteers to their community. We have had to pay for our trainings, and consider that a usual and common practice. Money we make on conducting training is directly applied to our ability to respond to searches for missing persons. When responding to missing person searches we, like other volunteers, do not receive any compensation.

Where can I stay for Courses in Christiansburg, Virginia?
PDF for lodging near Christiansburg, VA.

How much will it cost to train a small group of people?
Here is a table showing the cost depending on how many people participate in the class.

# Participants
in course

Total Day Cost of
an 8-hour workshop

1

$250

2

$300

3

$350

4

$350

5

$350

6 - 8

$400

 10 or more

 CONTACT US for additional information