On-Trail Navigation - Seattle - 2024

Navigation Course

On-Trail Navigation

This course is focused on learning and practicing key skills useful to navigate safely and efficiently on trail in both urban/suburban and back country terrain.

This hands-on course, tailored to on-trail hikers and walkers, provides focused instruction on key skills and tools, and hands-on practice on the trail. 

Students will become confident:

  • planning  a route using GPS, paper maps and other information
  • relating topographic maps to observed terrain  and built features
  • using essential tools--map, altimeter, compass, GPS and watch to follow a route
  • maintaining situational awareness (especially point position) including how to act if off trail or lost

The course has three components:

  1. Students self-study short videos followed by a self-scoring Alchemer Quiz calling for close inspection of their Mount Si NRCA (2021) Green Trails topo map.  They use GaiaGPS on a computer or laptop to plan a short route.
  2. A two-hour, in person workshop provides both map/compass work and practice with digital navigation in the smart phone GaiaGPS app.
  3. Field trip is a  scenarios-based, half-day city streets route to Carkeek Park (Seattle) where they work in small groups to learn and practice skills.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
On-Trail Navigation Workshop
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jun 19, 2024
Registration closed Jun 14
4 participants
2 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Sep 19, 2024
Registration closes Sep 15
9 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Oct 10, 2024
Registration opens Sep 16; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
2 instructors
On-Trail Navigation Field Trip
Carkeek Park
Sat, Jun 22, 2024
Registration closed Jun 17
2 participants
3 instructors
Carkeek Park
Sat, Sep 21, 2024
Registration opens Jun 28; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
5 instructors
Carkeek Park
Sat, Oct 12, 2024
Registration opens Sep 21; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
3 instructors
Required Equipment

Baseplate compass with adjustable declination (see http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/compass-declination.html, http://www.thecompassstore.com/comwitaddec.html)

Green Trails Mt Si NCRA 206S No. 2065 (rev 2021) map

SmartPhone loaded with GaiaGPS app (for both workshop and field trip)

Laptop or tablet (for the homework and, possibly, workshop)

Day Pack with urban oriented 10 Essentials

Emergency whistle

Course Materials