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What is Progressive Outdoor Education?

The Mountaineers 'Vision 2022' Strategic Plan calls for us to invest in being “innovative leaders in outdoor education.” This means we need to respond to growing needs and address new century challenges in ways that are different from traditional  outdoor education. This includes investment in our volunteers – the greatest source of innovation and a priceless resource that is uniquely Mountaineers. We call this new approach "Progressive Outdoor Education."  Read more…

Free (or nearly) Navigation Apps for Smart Phones

The cell phone has become a popular navigation tool for the modern outdoor adventurer. In fact, these days there are so many apps available it can be hard to know where to start. But don't be deterred! Your friends on the Seattle Navigation Committee love this stuff, and we took the time to review several apps that are free or close to it. Read more…

Block by Block - Gaia in the City at Night

It was one of the rare late winter weeknights with a full moon and a clear sky, but I missed a turn. Our Seattle Stairway Walks hiking group was passing several back doors (or were they front doors?) going up many unintended Magnolia steps. This was not the Gaia route I had planned and followed the prior week. Nor was it the highlighted route on the map tucked in my trouser pocket, or the same Gaia route on my iPhone.  Read more…

The Frugal Navigator - How To Find Your Way on the Cheap

Mountaineering is an expensive sport. It's especially daunting for beginners, who often have to prioritize spending across competing items. With a fixed amount of money, do you go for Gore-Tex undies, an ice axe made of sleek unobtanium . . . or yawn, a compass? (Let's face it, a shiny new cam is way sexier than a compass.) Read more…

Enhanced Trip Navigation Resources

Climbers, scramblers, hikers, snowshoers are all keen to find good beta for the next adventure. Sometimes a simple, downloadable map customized for the trail or route is enough. Other times we want tracks to follow when traveling in questionable terrain. There is no shortage of private and public collections of maps and tracks online, but we want to make these materials more accessible to you. Read more…

Online Wilderness Navigation Course open for registration

The Mountaineers is now accepting students for its first online course: Wilderness Navigation. The course, offered in partnership by the Seattle and Foothills branches, is part of a pilot project to discover how the organization can serve students who prefer online learning or for those who don't live close to where an in-person workshop is offered. Read more…

Navigation, First Aid, and Conditioning Classes for Hikers and Backpackers!

We've been hearing from many hikers and backpackers who want to learn navigation and field first aid/emergency-response skills, but aren't ready to invest the time and expense for the full Wilderness First Aid or Navigation course. Others really want to get strong and in shape for the trail season but would like some professional guidance to design a tailored conditioning program. To help, our volunteers from the Foothills branch have developed clinics tailored for hikers and backpackers from all walks of life.  Read more…

How To: Pick an Altimeter

Early altimeters with 19 jewels and Swiss-made movements were price-prohibitive and thus weren’t included in either The Mountaineers navigation courses or the Ten Essentials. However, with new technology emerging, the upcoming  9th edition of Freedom of the Hills  will feature map, compass, and all of the modern tools with altimeters prominent among them. Read more…

"Wilderness Navigation Workshop" to be Offered Online in February

Early in 2015, The Mountaineers Board of Directors identified two big goals for the organization -- re-examining it's rich and broad array of outdoor education and piloting some of it in an online format. The online pilot is in development and will be offered by several branches in the first part of 2016. Read more…

Renaming and revamping the Basic Navigation Course

You may have gotten a little confused lately browsing for Navigation courses on our website. The traditional "Basic Navigation" course has recently been renamed "Wilderness Navigation" by our Seattle and Tacoma branches. If you're a student or instructor trying to satisfy a Basic Navigation requirement, HAVE NO FEAR: you will still receive the same badge by taking the newly named Wilderness Navigation course. Read more…