Wilderness Navigation - Tacoma 2018

Navigation Course

Wilderness Navigation

Wilderness Navigation - Tacoma 2018

Navigating through the wilderness, without getting lost, is a skill that can save your life...


Please click the silly yellow box to continue.


 Have you have ever wanted to learn how to use a map and compass? Well, you have come to the right place. No prior map and compass experience necessary - we'll teach you what you need to know! This is a stand-alone course where you can learn the basics of navigation in a safe and fun atmosphere. The course consists of just two evening lectures-2 hours each, and one full day at the Mountaineers property located just outside the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park and Carbon River Ranger Station. (Students aged under 18 must have parental permission)

During this course you'll learn to:

  • Use a map and compass to determine your location and desired direction of travel;
  • Read a topographic map;
  • Take and follow a bearing in the field;
  • Measure and plot a bearing on a map;
  • Do map orientation and feature identification related to your surroundings;
  • Navigate while traveling cross-country through challenging terrain.

Sign-up Procedure 

  1. Register for Wilderness Navigation - Tacoma 2018 (Pay course fee). 
  2. Choose Lecture session and register for that session. 
  3. Choose Field trip date and register for that date.

Students who complete this course will receive a Navigation badge valid for 3 years.

Tacoma Navigation Committee: Click Here!

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Wilderness Navigation - Field trip
Irish Cabin Property
Sat, Mar 24, 2018
Registration closes Mar 22
4 participants
2 instructors
Irish Cabin Property
Sat, May 12, 2018
Registration closes May 10
0 participants
2 instructors
Irish Cabin Property
Sat, Aug 11, 2018
Registration closes Aug 9
26 participants
4 instructors
Wilderness Navigation - Lecture
Tacoma Program Center
Tue, May 8, 2018 -
Thu, May 10, 2018
Registration closes May 6
5 participants
2 instructors
Tacoma Program Center
Tue, Aug 7, 2018 -
Thu, Aug 9, 2018
Registration closes Aug 5
26 participants
4 instructors
Required Equipment

Required compass:

You will need a Mountaineers approved compass. Bring it with you to the lecture and the field trip. Please read this prior to purchasing a compass: Compass Requirements.pdf

Students need a compass with a screw type adjustable declination. Tool-less / key-less models will bring you nothing but grief.

Every student must have their own compass; sharing won't work in our class structure.

Lecture materials:

  • A Mountaineers approved compass.
  • A Textbook:
    Wilderness Navigation, Burns & Burns (eBooks are acceptable!)
    - or -
    Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
    (Actually read the book prior to attending the workshop.)
  • Complete the Pre-workshop Assignment prior to the first lecture and bring it with you or submit online (link is in Navigation Course Manual).
  • Sharp pencil.
  • (optional) Paper to take notes with.
  • (optional) Ruler.
  • Map will be provided to students at the workshop, USGS Chikamin Peak. Yours to keep!

Field trip equipment:

  • A Mountaineers approved compass.
  • Sturdy hiking boots.
  • Rain gear and extra warm clothing, including hat and gloves.
  • The Ten Essentials.
  • Lunch, extra food and at least 2 liters of water.
  • Zip lock bag for map and handouts (gallon size works great).
  • Sharp pencil.
  • (optional) Clipboard.
  • No cotton clothing. Wear jeans & tennis shoes, and you can expect to be sent home or spend the day in the parking area.
  • There isn't a definite end time. Everyone stays until the last student safely returns to the parking area for final head count. No exceptions.
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.