Introduction to Map & Compass - Seattle - Ongoing to 2030

Navigation Course

Introduction to Map & Compass

This introductory class combines animated graphics with an engaging lecture that will demystify how a map and compass work together. The field trip compliments the lecture with hands-on practice, through repetition in a small group setting to give the student a solid understanding of navigational principles.

topics include

  • Reading topographic maps and identifying important features
  • Understanding a bearing
  • Measuring and plotting bearings on a map
  • Measuring and plotting bearings in the field
  • Understanding declination
  • Features to consider when buying a compass
  • Other topics as time permits

This course serves as a comprehensive, deep dive introduction into the fundamental principles and theories of how a map and compass work in unison, breaking each component into understandable blocks. It is geared toward the beginning student, but can also work as a refresher. Please note that this course is not the Wilderness Navigation Course and does not satisfy the navigation requirement for the Snowshoe, Scrambling, and Climbing courses. It does not satisfy qualifications to apply for Equivalency. There is not a badge issued. If you fully understand what a bearing is, can explain declination, know how to use the UTM grid, and understand the relationship between measuring and plotting bearings, and are interested in further expanding and refining these skills, search for our "Wilderness Navigation Course."

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

No special equipment is required. A recorded version of the On-Line lecture will be made available for review. You must use the compass issued to you at the field trip. Prior to class, though not required, reading the Burns & Burns Wilderness Navigation book (chapters 1-4) is highly recommended.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.