Wilderness Navigation - Everett - 2021

Navigation Course

Wilderness Navigation

Learn to use a map, compass, altimeter and GPS for trip planning and navigation in the back country.

Info
COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

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The Everett Mountaineers Wilderness Navigation Course consists of four (4) activities. For credit you must complete all four (4) activities in the order listed:

(1) Online Map & Compass

(2) Online GPS and Digital Navigation

(3) Online Workshop

(4) In-Person Field Trip

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COURSE ENROLLMENT

The Everett Mountaineers Wilderness Navigation Course does not maintain “rolling enrollment”. This means that individuals on the last course offering’s waitlist are NOT automatically rolled over to the next course offering. Individuals who were waitlisted for the current course must re-enroll when the next course is posted.

We encourage you to enroll even if there is a waitlist. No fees are required to be on the waitlist and there are always some cancellations before the course begins. The waitlist is managed on a first come, first severed basis. If a participant does cancel, you will receive an email offering you the option to register. Payment of course fees are required upon accepting this offer to enroll.

 

THINGS TO DO

  • Register for this Wilderness Navigation Course and pay the course fee.
  • Register for the Online Map & Compass activity.
  • Register for the Online GPS activity.
  • Register for one (1) Online Workshop activity.
  • Register for one (1) In-person Field Trip activity.
  • Obtain required equipment and materials listed in “Required Equipment” and “Course Materials” tabs.

 

KEEP YOUR DATES

Once you sign up for an activity, please try to keep your date. If you must drop from the course or change an activity to a different date, do so as soon as possible  so others have time to fill your spot. Changes at the last minute truly do affect everyone.

 

BADGES

Upon completion of this course, you will be awarded the Basic Navigation Course and Basic GPS Course badges.  The Basic Navigation Course badge is a requirement for many advanced courses such as Climbing, Scrambling and Intermediate Snowshoeing. The Basic Navigation badge is valid for three (3) years. The Basic GPS badge does not expire.

 

DIFFICULTY

This is not a beginner's course; however, it is suitable for students with little or no navigation experience. There are no prerequisites for the Everett Mountaineers Wilderness Navigation Course. This course focuses on off-trail navigation requirements for Climbing, Scrambling, Intermediate Snowshoeing and other more advanced courses.

If you are simply looking for an introductory course focusing on on-trail navigation, consider "Introduction to Map and Compass", " Staying Found On-Trail Navigation " and/or “Introduction to GPS Navigation, Trip Planning and Workflow”. NOTE: These courses do not meet the navigation requirements for Climbing, Scrambling, Snowshoeing, etc. Wilderness Navigation does.

 

COURSE ACTIVITIES

The four (4) separate activities which must be completed in the order listed to successfully pass this course will take up to 30 hours to complete. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE TIME COMMITMENT FOR THE ONLINE ACTIVITIES. THEY TAKE TIME.

  • The Online Map & Compass activity is “at your own pace” over a 2-week period. It takes 7 to 8 hours to complete. It must be successfully completed before moving to the Online GPS Module. This activity covers the basics of map and compass, coordinate systems, plotting and taking bearings and coordinates, altimeter and GPS system basics, and an introduction to trip planning. It includes readings from the book and practical exercises at home with map and compass. Register after signing up for the course.
  • The Online GPS and Digital Navigation activity is “at your own pace” over a 2-week period and must be successfully completed before moving on to the Online Workshop. It will take you 4-6 hours of online work and practical exercises. It expands upon Online Map & Compass into GPS and the use of digital tools for trip planning. It has you set up Gaia GPS on your smartphone and use CalTopo for trip planning. Register after signing up for the course.
  • The Online Workshop activity is a 2-hour weeknight online session. Here you will do more practical exercises with Map, Compass, and GPS in preparation for the field trip. Register for one (1) session after signing up for the course.
  • The In-Person Field Trip is an all-day activity at Camp Edward north of Monroe, WA. It includes both on and off-trail exercises, with about 6.0 miles of hiking and 200' of elevation gain. You will tie together different ways to use all four tools in your navigation toolkit: map, compass, altimeter, and GPS. Register for one (1) session after signing up for the course.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The four (4) course activities build upon each other, with these ultimate learning goals:

  • Identify items related to topographic maps.
  • Relate items in the field to items on topographic maps.
  • Identify the parts of a compass.
  • Demonstrate how to use a compass with a map and in the field.
  • Plan and follow a route on- and off-trail through various terrain and conditions.
  • Maintain situational awareness: determine your line and point position and be able to return to the camp or trailhead.
  • Navigation tasks are shared among the entire team, but everyone must be skilled in the full tool set: map, compass, altimeter, GPS, and awareness of emergency procedures and devices.

 

REQUIRED MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Compass, Book, Maps, Smartphone, and Gaia GPS (with subscription), Altimeter (optional: Gaia GPS functionality will suffice). See the Required Equipment and Course Materials tabs for details and links.

 

REQUIRED READING ASSIGNMENTS

During the Online Map & Compass activity, you will be assigned required reading from Wilderness Navigation, 3rd Edition by Mike and Bob Burns. Mountaineers members get a 20% discount when ordering it online from Mountaineers Books as well as purchasing it in person at the Mountaineers Bookstore located in the Seattle Mountaineers Program Center (7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA). Please support the Mountaineers by purchasing it directly from the Mountaineers.

Additional (optional) reading is available in Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 9th Edition and Wilderness GPS: A Step-by-Step Guide by Mike and Bob Burns.

 

FIELD TRIP LOCATION AND CARPOOLING

Click HERE to download directions to the Camp Edward parking lot. Please park along the far west edge of the lot to leave room for any other visitors accessing the camp.

Carpooling is currently not required nor encouraged. Please see The Mountaineers COVID-19 Response for complete information.

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Online Workshop (Required Activity 3 of 4)
Online Classroom
Thu, Feb 25, 2021
Registration closed Feb 23
1 participant
2 instructors
Online Classroom
Wed, Mar 3, 2021
Registration closes Mar 1
3 participants
3 instructors
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 4, 2021
Registration closes Mar 2
4 participants
0 instructors
Online Classroom
Fri, Mar 5, 2021
Registration closes Mar 3
1 participant
2 instructors
Online Classroom
Tue, Mar 9, 2021
Registration closes Mar 7
1 participant
3 instructors
Online Classroom
Wed, Mar 10, 2021
Registration closes Mar 8
4 participants
2 instructors
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 11, 2021
Registration closes Mar 9
7 participants
1 instructor
In-Person Field Trip (Required Activity 4 of 4)
Camp Edward
Sat, Mar 13, 2021
Registration closes Mar 11
11 participants
6 instructors
Camp Edward
Sat, Mar 27, 2021
Registration closes Mar 25
9 participants
6 instructors
Roster
Required Equipment

Computer, laptop, or tablet for online activities

Book - Wilderness Navigation, 3rd Edition by Mike and Bob Burns. Mountaineers members get a 20% discount when ordering it online from Mountaineers Books as well as purchasing it in person at the Mountaineers Bookstore located in the Seattle Mountaineers Program Center (7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA). Please support the Mountaineers by purchasing it directly from the Mountaineers.

Maps – USGS Baring for the Online Map and Compass Activity (also available at the USGS website: USGS Baring  - stay away from any TNM GEOSPATIAL options). Maps used at the Field Trip will be provided at the field trip and available to print prior to and during the Online Workshop Activity (activity 3 of 4).

Compass – Must be purchased before the online Map & Compass Activity (1 of 4). Unfortunately, you cannot share a map or compass with a friend or family member during the field trip exercises. Some local stores might run out of the model you want so it is recommended you buy a compass well in advance. Only specific compasses will be accepted, so before purchasing a compass review these documents:  2016 Everett Navigation Compass Requirements and 2018 Seattle and Foothills Compass Requirements.

Smartphone with Gaia GPS Premium App.  The Gaia GPS Premium App works on IOS and Android phones and tablets, so long as you have a GPS chip in the device (GPS and/or GLONASS capability). You will be instructed on setting up Gaia GPS during the Online GPS Activity (activity 2 of 4). Gaia GPS Premium is available as a Mountaineers Member Benefit, at no cost for the first year. See the Member Benefits page and scroll down to GEAR DETAILS for complete information.  You may use a dedicated GPS device, however this may have differences that an Instructor will not be familiar with and thus limit the assistance provided.

Altimeter – There is an altitude reading in the Gaia GPS Premium App, and it will get you through the course. Many people prefer a wristwatch style altimeter or analog altimeter as they delve further into mountaineering.  For reviews of inexpensive (and expensive) altimeters, see the Blog Entry on How to Pick an Altimeter.

10-essentials including rain gear for the field trip (boots, gloves and appropriate clothing for inclement wilderness travel).

DUE TO COVID-19 PROTOCOLS: Each participant (including instructors) must provide their own personal hand sanitizer or biodegradable soap and personal pens or pencils.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.