“Knowing where you are and where you’re going,” they say, “means you’re not lost.” Well, we agree. These exact points we emphasize during our teaching of wilderness navigation, right along with the critical thinking that goes into it. And so much more… this comprehensive map and compass-plus course is designed to take an ordinary person, a hiker for instance, and completely empower them and give them the confidence and ability to venture forth into the wilderness. To enable him or her — or you — to seek that isolated peak, hunt in places no one else goes, to fish that remote pond, to explore the wilderness between the map’s red lines, to just get away from it all and be one with the backcountry, and to even navigate safely above treeline if clouds suddenly engulf you robbing your precious sightlines.
Having designed this course a few seasons ago we have had a chance to teach it repeatly and have perfected it. We offer it a few different ways. First there is a half day classroom segment lasting 3-4 hours or so. This is in of itself a complete offering. You will have the nuts and bolts as well as all the fine details to navigate in the wild. Upon completion you would be capable of executing this for practice for yourself. That said, we also offer a half day field segment that keys in on the work that happens out there while performing a pin-point bushwhack. Even though the morning is complete, doing both is best. These segments can be ordered separately or combined into a full day course lasting 6-8 hours or so. And if you really want to step up your game, we also offer this as a two-day course with the second day keying in further and solidifying even more everything you’ve learned. As always, we do hope to really tune into your needs and strive to be adaptable. If you have any specific interests or needs, please let us know in the comments box of our Booking Form.
What to Wear
To ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, we offer this important clothing information. When dressing for the half-day field segment and full- and two-day offerings, noted above, you will dress and gear up for spring-to-fall hiking as described below (the outdoor segments of this course generally stop once the snow covers the ground). The half-day classroom segment, which can be done anytime, is almost entirely indoors but does have an outdoor bit at the start so just come dressed for the weather.
- Think layers. While a ski jacket, for example, may be warm and waterproof, if the insulation can’t be separated from the rain/snow protection layer, it really isn’t suitable. You will overheat if you need rain/snow protection while hiking and bushwhacking. Bring independent layers. Having our “Ready Pack” will help.
- Never wear cotton, even at the underwear level. Synthetic materials, wool, and especially performance/wicking materials should be your clothing of choice. For hiking, since cotton won’t dry and doesn’t insulate while wet, it can pose a hazard. You will want to wear the right type of sports or hiking clothing and you will want to bring extra.
- Bring more than you think you need. Mountain weather can be very tricky and unpredictable. While it may be nice in town, the mountains can be very different. Being prepared can save your life.
- For footwear, a sturdy, seasonally-rated one, two, or three-season mid- to full-height boot is best so as to offer better protection to your feet and ankles.
- Be visible. Wear colors that will stand out in the woods for the season if taking the full- or two-day courses.
- Think scratch protection. The field segments of this course will take you into the woods, off-trail, and amid blowdowns and debris. Aim to protect your exposed skin and eyes. Eye protection is required and available. See below.
For your hiking/bushwhacking gear needs, in addition to your own protective non-cotton base layers, hiking/climbing pants with shirt, and footwear, as described above, we offer three options (which are modified by the season). Click to expand.
Gear Option 1 - Open
Gear Option 1 - Close
- Personal first aid kit/meds.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Camera/phone (weather-protected).
- Lip balm, sun block.
- Insect repellent.
- Altimeter (optional).
- Proper footwear (see information above).
- Proper clothing layering (see information above).
- Seasonal specialty clothing (see information above).
- Pencil and notebook for taking notes.
SPECIAL NOTE: You may get a “Ready Pack, Lean” without food and water for $30/person/day. Due to the proximity to prepared foods, this is recommended for the one-day course and day one of the two-day course only! The Ready Pack, Full is appropriate for day two of the two-day course, only.
SPECIAL NOTE: You can also order just food and water for $15/person/day. (Available with any option, but due to the proximity to prepared foods, this is not recommended for any day other than day two of the the two-day course. Included with the Ready Pack, Full, of course.)
Gear Option 2 - Open
Gear Option 2 - Close
- A lined pack with hip belt and room for the items below (~30-40 liters).
- Rain jacket and pants, or rain poncho (mountain weather can be quite wet).
- Mountain-rated insulated layer (mountains are much colder than in town).
- Seasonally-rated mid-layer (much colder).
- Food for the day, plus extra.
- Water for the day, at least 2 liters, plus extra (or filter).
- Seasonally-rated hat, gloves/mittens.
- Headlamp with spare batteries (or backup device).
- Whistle or sound-making device (sternum strap whistles are okay).
- Tarp, bivvy, or personal shelter.
- A lightweight emergency sleeping pad.
Plus any of these applicable Specialty Gear Items, which may be rented…
- Map, compass (this can be purchased), safety glasses, $5/set/person/day.
- Headlamp, $5/person/day (two day course only).
- Gear Insurance, $10/person/day.
Gear Option 3 - Open
Gear Option 3 - Close
Okay… Let’s Do This!
Here is the pricing and other information you’ll probably want to know.
|Half Day Field or Class Pricing|
|For one person||$125|
|For two people||$175|
|Added people||$75 each|
|Full Day Course Pricing|
|For one person||$200|
|For two people||$325|
|Added people||$150 each|
|Two Day Course Pricing|
|For one person||$350|
|For two people||$525|
|Added people||$200 each|
|Premium Course Options|
|Make it private||Add $75/day|
- The difficulty of this activity is as requested, but variable.
- This activity has 1:8 instructor/student ratio (1:4 on day two).
- The maximum group size is 8 with 1-2 guides, depending on day.
- For parties larger than 8, please contact us.
- Gratuities not included; 15-20% is customary for a good job.
Suunto Compasses Now Available! Buy then learn… Please note that you can now order a Suunto A-10 or Suunto A-30 magnetic baseplate compass from us and pick it up when you take your Wilderness Navigation course. Not only is the price right, but you’ll be taught in-depth on how to use this important piece of equipment. Just mention this in the comments section of our booking form. If you would prefer to have the compass shipped directly to you ahead of time, please use the order form below.