Mapping & Navigation

Course Description

In this course, our instructors will help you understand a topographic map, proper use of your compass, and how to put the two together. You’ll learn about various directional terminology. Once you learn how to use maps and compasses, you will get time to practice. Your practice will include finding your bearings from the terrain and using your map to find your position and plan a route. This course is very engaging and a great introduction to outdoor navigation and map reading!

Who Should Take this Course

The Mapping & Navigation course is for anyone that travels in the backcountry. There are many new technological devices in the market that work amazingly. However, sometimes those devices don’t work properly or the batteries die. Therefore, knowing how to use a compass and traditional hard copy map for navigation is always a skill that is needed.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Mapping & Navigation course, the student should be able to:

  • Develop a map of the training area
  • Establish a working knowledge of 1 or more mapping programs
  • Find additional learning aids to continue to progress outside of class


Students must be able to travel in avalanche terrain and bring appropriate equipment for traveling on snow to class. There are no other prerequisites.