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.

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.

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

Please note that this workshop is not the Wilderness Navigation Course and does not satisfy the navigation requirement for the Snowshoe, Scrambling, and Climbing courses. This course serves as an introduction to reading a map and using a compass, primarily for "On-Trail" travel.   It's a great introduction to this equipment and these skills.   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
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Introduction to Map & Compass Lecture
Online Classroom
Wed, Aug 11, 2021
Registration closes Aug 4
1 participant
2 instructors
Online Classroom
Wed, Sep 8, 2021
Registration closes Sep 6
9 participants
2 instructors
Introduction to Map & Compass Field Trip
Union Bay Natural Area
Sat, Aug 14, 2021
Registration closed Jul 24
1 participant
2 instructors
Union Bay Natural Area
Sun, Aug 15, 2021
Registration closed Jul 19
1 participant
2 instructors
Union Bay Natural Area
Sat, Sep 11, 2021
Registration opens Aug 17; Instructor registration open now
5 participants
2 instructors
Union Bay Natural Area
Sun, Sep 12, 2021
Registration closes Sep 10
3 participants
2 instructors
Required Equipment

No special equipment is required. The On-Line lecture will be recorded and made available to students for review. A map and compass will be provided at the field trip. Prior to class, though not required, reading the Burns & Burns Wilderness Navigation book is highly recommended.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.