Introduction to Map & Compass Field Trip

Field trip: Introduction to Map & Compass

Introduction to Map & Compass Field Trip - Union Bay Natural Area

An easy 3 hour hike on the loop trail at the Union Bay Natural Area, located next to the Center for Urban Horticulture. Students will have an excellent opportunity for hands-on instruction in a very small group setting. Navigational practice will focus on measuring and plotting bearings, and situational awareness.

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
  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
  • Mileage: 4.0 mi


A map & compass are part of the 10 Essentials, but if you don't know how to use them then they're just extra weight in your backpack! Learn the basics in this workshop, topics include:

  • Reading topographic maps and identifying important features
  • Understanding declination
  • Taking, locating, and following bearings in the field
  • Taking and locating bearings on a map
  • Triangulation techniques
  • Features to consider when buying a compass
  • Other topics as time permits

Please note that this workshop is not the Wilderness Navigation Course and does not satisfy the graduation requirement for the Snowshoe, Scrambling, and Climbing courses. This is an Intro class designed to teach basic concepts and skills. 


Center for Urban Horticulture

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

A map and compass will be provided. Be prepared for rain. Wear good walking/hiking shoes. We will mostly be on a flat gravel/dirt trail. There are no restrooms along the loop trail.

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