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Navigation Course

Wilderness Navigation

Wilderness Navigation Course Tacoma April 2021

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.

Registration is currently only open to Tacoma branch Alpine Scrambling and Basic Climbing students.  To register you must request leaders permission and state which Tacoma branch program you are currently a student in.   Failure to do this may result in you being removed from the course.   

The Tacoma Mountaineers wilderness navigation course is currently being taught in two parts which consist of an online classroom and field trip. To successfully complete the course and earn the Basic Navigation badge you must complete both parts.

The online classroom portion will cover map and compass usage.

The Field trip portion will reinforce the skills you learned in the online portion as well as give you a chance to use the skills you learned. There is also a final exam given during the field trip portion.

Things to Do

Register for the Tacoma Wilderness Navigation Course and pay the course fee.

Register for the Online Map and Compass course

Register for the field trip

Obtain the required course materials and equipment as listed in the course “Required Equipment” and “Course Materials” tabs.

Student expectations:

Successfully complete the online course before the field trip. The online course information will be sent to student’s approximately  2.5 weeks prior to the field trip. Please make sure you have all the needed course materials on hand by this time. The online course may take up to ten hours or more to complete. Please budget time to do this course and do not wait till the last minute in an attempt to get it done.

The field trip will be at the Irish cabin property which is located just outside of the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier national park. The field trip will proceed even in the event of inclement weather. Please be prepared to deal with outdoor travel and working in these conditions. For the field trip you will need the following equipment typical of any Mountaineers outing:

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).

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.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Wilderness Navigation - Lecture 1
Online Classroom
Fri, Mar 19, 2021 -
Thu, Apr 8, 2021
Registration closes Mar 17
19 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Wilderness Navigation - Field trip
Irish Cabin Property
Sun, Apr 11, 2021
Registration closes Apr 9
21 participants
0 instructors
Required Equipment

Mountaineers approved compass.

Wilderness navigation, 3rd Edition  by Bob Burns and Mike Burns

Computer to complete online portion.

USGS Baring map, buy from mountaineers or download and print yourself.

If you choose to print this map yourself keep in mind it is very large, around 22x27 inches.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.