Al started teaching an in-person navigation classes mostly by accident a few years ago and was surprised at how challenging it was to be a good instructor and how rewarding it is when you can look at a student, see the light click on, and know that they get it. He’s been chasing that feeling ever since.

Al spent over 8 years on active duty in the Army as an Infantry Officer. He is a graduate of US Army Ranger School, was deployed to Iraq three times, and spent a year as a Company Trainer in the Mojave Desert. Being well versed in map reading and navigation was a fundamental part of his life in the Army.

For recreation, Al prefers to head off into the mountains to a place he has never been before. Sometimes that is on a trail, but often it isn’t. He’ll take a map, a compass, a GPS and whatever other navigational tool he happens to be playing with at the time.

Al is also the co-founder of Just Trails LLC, known primarily for the website He has walked all the trails (over 1,000 miles) and made all the maps you will find on the Just Trails website. Additionally, he has written for the website on navigation-related topics.


Al’s Courses