Wilderness Navigation - GPS

As low as:

$260.00 / person

(at 6:1 ratio)


Navigation Kit $10.00

Includes a map and compass


Building on fundamental map and compass skills learned in Wilderness Navigation 1, this course focuses on the constantly evolving Global Positioning technologies found in modern smart phones, tablets, and GPS devices. The skills gained on this course can greatly enhance the wilderness navigation experience and pre-trip planning practices. 

This course will be delivered in two parts, with a 2-hour evening session to review route planning and information sourcing, followed by a day of practical application in the field. 

Note: This course can be taken in tandem with Wilderness Navigation 1 for a 10% discount. 


  • Resources and digital trip planning 
  • Smartphone GPS apps
  • Terrain recognition on GPS devices
  • Route planning
  • Route finding
  • Navigation using GPS
  • Practice and coaching

Included in the price

  • 2-hour virtual classroom session (pre-trip route planning, and use of apps like Gaia and CalTopo)
  • 1 full day of field instruction
  • 30-day free trial codes for GPS apps

Not included in the price

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Transport
  • Personal equipment
  • GPS unit/Phone

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details about our booking and cancellation policy, and other commonly asked questions.


The field portion of this course can be delivered in terrain accessed from either the Old Forbidden Plateau Ski Hill or Mount Washington. Note that locations are determined by time of year, and where the instructor feels they can best deliver the outlined curriculum, but all locations will be within easy driving distance of the Comox Valley. 

The virtual trip planning session will be held several days prior to the course and the day will be noted in the booking tab. 

Exact meeting details will be provided in a pre-trip email sent one week before your course, along with a link to the virtual classroom. 


Curriculum delivery will depend on the instructor and other factors such as weather and time of year, but below is a general idea of what to expect:

Day 1 – Virtual Session

Typically held 2 days prior to the field day.

18:30-20:30 -- “Meet” your instructor and fellow participants via the link provided in your pre-trip email. 

On this evening, we will introduce resources such as smartphone GPS apps and other digital tools along with an overview on how to use them. We’ll also cover trip planning and route plotting and answer any specific questions you have about the field day. 

Day 2 – Field Day

A typical field day goes from 09:00 to 17:00, and can be delivered year round. 

09:00 - Meet your group at the location specified in the pre-trip email unless stated otherwise by your instructor. The instructor will hand out any rental equipment purchased as an add-on, and the group will proceed to sign waivers. After short morning meeting, we’ll set off hiking (both on and off trail), learning curriculum and practicing skills along the way. 

17:00 – After a day in the field, you’ll return to your cars for a debrief and return all rental equipment to the instructor. 

Exact meeting details will be provided in a pre-trip email sent one-week prior to your course.

Questions? Check out our
FAQ page for details, or send us an email.


This is an intermediate level course, meaning that some previous experience with map and compass is required for you to get the most out of this course. To register, we ask that participants: 

  • Take Wilderness Navigation 1 or have similar training/experience
  • Be prepared to spend the full day outside in variable conditions
  • Be prepared to hike in uneven and rough terrain, including through sections of bush and possibly snow
  • Provide their own gear (a limited number of maps and compasses are available for rent — please see gear list in next tab)

Questions about the suitability of this course? Send us an email. We’re happy to help you find or customize courses to suit your needs. 

Gear List 

The equipment list provided aims to prepare you to be comfortable in the field regardless of the weather. Please ensure that all your gear is functioning and in proper repair. 


  • Mid-weight jacket
  • T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt (in summer we recommend white cotton or other light colour for cooling purposes)
  • Hiking pants, nylon or similar (ideally tough enough to resist tearing on bushes)
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • Toque or hat
  • Gloves (plus a spare if weather is wet)
  • Hiking socks 
  • Boots (suitable for hiking off trail)

Course Items

  • Topographic map — 92 F/11 (available as part of Navigation Kit for rent)
  • Mirrored compass (available as part of Navigation Kit for rent)
  • GPS/Smartphone
  • Rite in the Rain Notebook
  • Pencil


  • 30L backpack (or whatever can fit the contents of this list)
  • Toilet paper (and small bag to pack out) 
  • Personal small first aid kit (blister kit) SPF lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle (2L capacity)
  • Lunch (prepared ahead of time and consumable on the go)
  • Sunglasses
  • Thermos (optional)
  • Altimetre (optional)

For winter and spring courses, please also bring:

We will indicate whether snowshoes are needed in a pre-trip email sent one-week prior.

  • Snowshoes (while there is still snow in the mountains)
  • Walking poles (if using snowshoes)
  • Gaiters
  • Long underwear (top and bottom)
  • Insulating pants (wool, fleece, etc.)

If you do not own snowshoes, we recommend renting from Ski Tak Hut and can provide discount codes upon request. 


  • Snowshoes: Available for rent at Ski Tak Hut if required for time of year. Discount codes provided upon request to receive 25% off your rental. 
  • Navigation Kit: Includes map and compass. Available for $10 as an add-on when you book. 

Rental add ons are non-refundable, but can often be requested up to two days before the course. Please be aware that we have limited supply and these are offered on a first come, first served basis. 

Questions? Check out our FAQ page or send us an email! We love talking about gear.


Our instructor was very knowledgable, helpful, and prepared. Money well spent. Vic Marchiel, Courtenay, BC
Yesterday’s GPS course was so great. I got everything I wanted out of it and more, and our guide Christine was truly a delight. Sarah S.,