Navigation Activity #4 of 4 - Field Trip

Field trip: Wilderness Navigation Course

Navigation Activity #4 of 4 - Field Trip - Carkeek Park

Wilderness Navigation Field Trip - Students and instructors. Seattle urban make-up, completion option for 2020 students during the Covid pandemic.

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 activity.
  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 3.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 240 ft
  • Pace: 1.0 mph

Meet at the end of Mary Ave NW near 105th St where a trail leads into the forest.

We will host two sessions, Session AM  for 12 students at 7:30 (arrive no later than 7:15) and Session PM for 12 students at 12:30 (arrive no later than 12:15). The trip leader will assign students to the AM or PM 4hour session.

During the AM and PM sessions, students will be in small groups of six students and two instructors to conform to state Covid guidelines.  The groups will operate independently.

Before you can sign up for this Field Trip as a student, you need to first sign up and pay for the Basic Navigation Course and complete the prerequisite components -- the eLearning Workshop, the Online GPS Module, and the In-Person Workshop.  These sessions are for 2020 students whose regular field trips were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Instructors do not need to pay the fee for the course.  

Field Trip Details:
This is a half-day Sunday in Carkeek Park on the Sound in North Seattle. Session AM will be for 12 students divided into two, independent groups.  Session PM will be for another 12 students also divided into two, independent groups.  Each small group will have two instructors. Parking is limited along Mary Ave.  Please respect local residents and do not block driveways. 


  1. You'll need to be in reasonable physical condition since you'll be gaining about 500 ft of elevation with all travel on trail. 
  2. Bring the Required Equipment. Come prepared as you would for a scramble or hike in varied weather, but please leave the technical gear (helmet, ice axe, etc) at home. Bring appropriate footwear for muddy travel, a waterproof outer layer, warm clothes in layers, the 10 essentials, snacks, etc. The Field Trip Student Packet will be emailed to registered students with details.
  3. Review the Field Trip packet.  
  4. Bring your baseplate, adjustable declination compass. Unfortunately you can't share a compass with someone during the Field Trip.  
  5. Bring a GPS and Altimeter - Smartphone with Gaia GPS and standalone altimeter or the altitude function within Gaia GPS.
  6. Bring two hard copies (paper) CalTopo maps which will be attached as PDFs with the Student Packet. Put the maps into a gallon ziplock bag. 
  7. Bring a sharp pencil.
  8. Complete the pre-trip planning document from the eLearning Workshop and leave a copy at home.

You should be prepared for the field trip with the following:

  • Basic Trip Plan completed
  • Know where and when to be at the field trip, and what to bring.
  • Hard copy map (2 copies) of Caltopo paper map printed as backup or to provide to other hikers.
  • Current declination (15 degrees east) set on the compass and confirmed.
  • Altimeter use & limitations are understood. Ready to calibrate at trailhead.
  • Smartphone loaded with Gaia GPS, and also loaded with Route/Track, Waypoints, Map.
  • Emergency communications procedures and devices are understood.
  • GPS device checked and ready ( batteries, charge, screen display, weather proofing...)
  • Emergency communications on hand (minimum whistle)

Come prepared to instruct students who likely have a wide range of experience:

  1.  Bring your "Instructor Field Trip" packet to be emailed as a PDF.
  2.  Review the "Student Field Trip" packet as well, particularly for driving directions. It  will be attached to the email.
  3. Bring your compass, GPS, Altimeter and maps. A map PDF will be attached as well as a GPS route.


Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  See the Field Trip Student Packet attached to your registration email.

Trip Reports