Backcountry users need effective outdoor navigation skills. In these courses, you will learn to read topographic maps, and use compasses and GPS.

View all navigation programs

Navigation 1 - Using Maps

Learn the basics of navigation including the use of landforms, trail markers, route information and maps. In this classroom course, you'll learn to use topographic maps to read contour lines, identify features, keep track of your location and make excellent route plans before you hike. Prerequisite: none. Includes: instructor, materials.

Navigation 2 - Using Compass

Build on your map-reading knowledge with compass skills. Over a morning class and afternoon outdoor practice, learn how to interpret a compass including cardinal directions, bearings and declination. Through practice exercises, find out how to integrate your map and compass knowledge for effective navigation across any terrain. Prerequisite: Using Maps. Includes: instructor, materials.

Navigation 3 - Using GPS

Learn the basic functions of a GPS unit and how the features and limitations of GPS technology apply to backcountry navigation. We'll introduce you to finding your location, marking waypoints, creating and following a route, and saving and interpreting the data recorded on a trip. Discover how to use a GPS unit in the morning then spend the afternoon getting some hands-on practice outdoors. Prerequisite: Using Maps. Includes: instructor, materials, use of GPS unit.

Navigation 4 - Navigation Field Day

In this full-day practical field session, you'll be able to put your navigation skills to use. We'll head to the mountains for a level 2 hike and practice navigation techniques at whatever level you're ready for. Work on turning maps into mental images, finding your position and routefinding in various terrain. Prerequisite: Using Maps or Using Compass. Includes: instructor, materials.

Intro to Tracking

Ever wondered how 'Mantracker' tracks his prey? Join us for an introductory course taught by a Search and Rescue expert. This weekend course will be a blend of classroom and outdoor practical field exercises, designed to set you up with the skills you need to be able to detect, read and follow tracks and signs in the backcountry. The course is offered in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine. Prerequisite: none. Includes: certified instructor, course manual, course completion certificate.