Basic Navigation Course - Seattle - 2014/2015

Navigation Course

Wilderness Navigation Course

Basic Navigation Course - Seattle

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.

The 2015 course is FULL. You may register for the 2016 course HERE.
Note that the course name has changed to "Wilderness Navigation" 

Would you like to learn how to avoid getting lost? Are you planning to go off trail where good navigation skills are needed? If so then this in-depth navigation course is for you. It's offered multiple times a year between October and March, and it's available to Mountaineers members and non-members.

This course is a graduation requirement for other Mountaineers courses including Basic Alpine Climbing, Alpine Scrambling, Backcountry Snowshoeing, and other courses. People who complete this course will receive a Navigation card valid for 3 years.

Sign Up Procedure:
Important note: To fully register and graduate from this course you need to sign up for these 3 separate components...
1) Register for this Basic Navigation Course and pay the course fee.
2) Sign up for one of the available workshops listed below. This is a 2.5 hour Workshop on a weekday evening at the Seattle Mountaineers Program Center. You'll be sitting at a table using your compass and maps to solve a complex series of navigation story problems.
3) Sign up for an available Field Trip (need to attend after the Workshop). This is a full day Field Trip on a Saturday or Sunday in the mountains near Index, WA. You'll be off trail in the woods using your compass to taking bearings and follow bearings. Carpooling is strongly encouraged because we'll be parking on private land with very limited space, so please specify your carpool preferences when signing up (or edit them later). Then you can use the "email" link below on the roster tab to view other students' carpool preferences so that you can organize your own carpooling arrangements.

You'll need a "Mountaineers approved" compass which you need to purchase before attending the Workshop. Unfortunately you can't share a map or compass with a friend of family member during the course. Some local stores might run out of the model you want so it's recommended you buy a compass well in advance. Only specific compasses will be accepted, so before purchasing a compass make sure to read our compass requirements. Please note that the blue "Brunton O.S.S." compasses are not acceptable.

Reading Assignment (before attending the Workshop):
Prior to attending the Workshop you need to read chapters 1-5 of the Burns & Burns book "Wilderness Navigation". Mountaineers members get an additional 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. Please support the Mountaineers by purchasing it directly from the Mountaineers.

If you still want more to read after reading "Wilderness Navigation", see chapter 5 on Navigation in "Freedom of the Hills."

Click here to download information about how to select a good compass.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Navigation Activity #4 of 4 - Field Trip
Heybrook Lookout & Ridge
Sun, Apr 24, 2016
Registration closed Nov 1
0 participants
Wilderness Navigation Workshop - Students and Instructors - Obsolete
Online Classroom
Tue, Jan 31, 2017 -
Tue, Feb 28, 2017
Registration closed Feb 14
3 participants
2 instructors
Online Classroom
Tue, Sep 26, 2017 -
Tue, Oct 24, 2017
Registration closed Oct 9
6 participants
0 instructors
Online Classroom
Mon, Sep 24, 2018 -
Tue, Oct 23, 2018
Registration closed Sep 21
4 participants
0 instructors
Navigation Activity #1 of 4 - online Map and Compass
Online Classroom
Sat, Oct 14, 2017
Registration closed Aug 15
0 participants
0 instructors
Online Classroom
Tue, Feb 26, 2019 -
Tue, Mar 12, 2019
Registration closed Feb 23
4 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Online Classroom
Mon, Sep 12, 2022 -
Sun, Sep 25, 2022
Registration closed Sep 7
16 participants
2 instructors
Navigation Activity #3 of 4 - In-Person Workshop - Students and Instructors
Online Classroom
Sat, Apr 10, 2021
Registration closed Apr 2
12 participants
1 instructor
Navigation Activity #2 of 4 - Online Introduction to Digital Navigation
Online Classroom
Mon, Sep 26, 2022 -
Sun, Oct 9, 2022
Registration closed Sep 21
15 participants
0 instructors
Required Equipment

Mountaineers approved, declination adjustable compass, +/- 2 degree accuracy

Index and Baring USGS quads

Burns & Burns Wilderness Navigation (new edition expected in February 2015)

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.