Staying Found:  On-Trail Navigation- Foothills - 2023

Navigation, Day Hiking & Backpacking Course

Staying Found: On-Trail Navigation

This course is focused on learning and practicing key skills to maintain an ongoing awareness of where you are and how to find yourself if you get lost on even the most complicated trail system.

This course, tailored to on-trail adventurers, is designed to help students become confident reading a topographic map, using a compass and altimeter, and maintaining awareness of their location on a trail. Students will receive detailed information on skills and tools, as well as hands-on practice on the trail. Basic digital navigation instruction using Gaia will be included. 

The course includes an evening online instructional seminar and a field trip held outdoors at Tiger Mountain State Forest. The field trip includes map and compass exercises, a trip planning exercise, and  a hike to apply the skills you have learned. Students must complete all components to graduate from the class and receive an On-Trail Navigation badge. 



PLEASE ONLY SIGN UP FOR ONE FIELD TRIP. There is capacity for all course participants on one of the five field trips. Please do not register for the waitlist. If your preferred trip is full, select another.

The hikes on the field trip range from easy to moderate. The shortest hike is Easy Peasy; the longest hike is Grand Ridge. Each trip will be led at the pace of the group and there will be multiple stops along the way to practice navigation skills.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment
  • Compass with adjustable declinationYOUR COMPASS MUST HAVE ADJUSTABLE DECLINATION. See the article from REI, How to Choose a Compass.
  • Green Trails Tiger Mountain map #204S. You can purchase the map (from the Mountaineers, Metsker Maps in Pike Place, or Amazon) or you can download the map from the Course Materials tab and print a COLOR COPY. Your map MUST be in color.
    • If you purchase the map and/or the book Wilderness Navigation from the Mountaineers, there is a 25% discount. The discount code is "Staying Found."
  • Watch (preferably digital)
  • Ten Essentials
  • Gear and appropriate footwear for a hike on uneven terrain.  Be prepared for cold and possible rain!  
  • Altimeter or smartphone with altimeter app
  • Gaia GPS subscription with app installed on your phone (free to Mountaineers members for the first year)