Wilderness Navigation 1

As low as:

$210.00 / person

(at 6:1 ratio) Next Trip: Jun 8, 2024 (day trip)

    Upcoming Trips

    Don't see a date that works?
    Start a new trip
  • Jun 8, 2024 (day trip)
    Book Trip
    4 spots available. $210.00

    Location: Cumberland/Paradise Meadows, Instructor: Rob Coates

  • Jul 27, 2024 (day trip)
    Book Trip
    6 spots available. $210.00

    Location: Cumberland/Paradise Meadows, Instructor: Rob Coates


Navigation Kit $10.00

Includes a map and compass


This one-day Wilderness Navigation course provides an essential introduction to using and understanding topographic maps and compasses. The skills learned on this course will improve trip planning processes, provide a basis for and inform navigation by GPS, and provide fundamental knowledge for those exploring new terrain or areas with poor visibility. 

We recommend our one-day Wilderness Navigation 2 as a follow-up course. Take both courses at once to receive a 10% discount. 


  • Interpreting features on topographic maps
  • Compass use and features
  • Scale, grid reference and latitude and longitude
  • Relating features on a map to features on the ground
  • Taking bearings in the field and on the map
  • Re-sectioning to determine location
  • Travelling on bearings through terrain


  • 1-Day of instruction with an ACMG-certified guide

Not Included

  • Transport to and from the meeting point
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Personal equipment (including snowshoes if there is snow on the ground at the time of your course)

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 will either 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. 

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


A typical course runs from 09:00 to 16:00, and can be delivered year-round. We will begin the day with an orientation in the parking lot before putting skills to use in the field, primarily hiking off-trail. 

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 course is suitable for both beginners and those who are looking to further hone their skills. While a beginner-friendly course, participants should be prepared to: 

  • Spend the day outside in variable conditions — including in rain, snow, and hot weather (see gear list)
  • Travel approximately 3-4km over sections which may include bush, snow, and rough terrain 
  • 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 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. 

Clothing & Footwear
  • Mid-weight jacket, wool, fleece, synthetic or down
  • T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt (white or other light colour), synthetic and/or light cotton in summer for cooling
  • 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 - merino wool is best
  • Boots (suitable for hiking off trail)

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 (typically needed November through to June)
  • Long underwear (top and bottom), poly- pro, wool or silk
  • Insulating pants, wool, fleece, or pile

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

Course Items

Available as a rental add on when you book. 
  • Topographic map — 92 F/11 
  • Mirrored compass 

  • 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
  • Backpack (large enough to fit the items on this list)
  • Rite in the Rain notebook and pencil
  • Thermos (optional)
  • Altimetre (optional)


Navigation Kit: includes map and compass, and are available for $10/day. 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.

Snowshoes (if required for the time of year): Available for rent at 'Ski Tak Hut'(https://www.skitakhut.com/pages/rentals) if required for the time of year. Participants on HVI courses/trips are eligible to receive a 25% discount code (directly from HVI upon request) towards their gear rentals from 'Ski Tak Hut' for the duration of their course/trip. Note you will be asked to show the booking confirmation you received from us when you pick up your gear. 

Winter 4x4 Vehicle(s) (if required for the time of year): 'Far Out Wilderness' (https://faroutwilderness.com/ski-tours-winter-4x4/) is a winter 4x4 rental service in Victoria that offers clients access to a fleet of rugged, reliable, and fully-equipped vehicles designed to conquer the most challenging winter terrain. They rent both Toyota Tacomas and 4Runners. Their vehicles come with snow tires with the 3 peak mountain symbol, chains, and ski racks. They also provide emergency equipment, including SOS, SPOT messenger systems, GPS, tire pump, toe rope, tire pressure gauge, a map to BC's backcountry roads, and a first aid kit. Everything you need to get safely to the ski slopes! IAG clients can receive a 5% discount code towards their rentals from 'Far Out Wilderness' upon request.

Questions about gear? Check out our FAQ page  and blog, or send us an email.


Thank you for leading such a great course today. We really enjoyed ourselves and got a lot out of it. We'd both be very interested in an advanced version to build on these new skills. Silas and Irini Sandham, Nanaimo, BC
Mattias was an excellent teacher. He was adaptable and able to keep the course interesting and fun throughout the day. His passion for navigation really shone through and both Robbie and I left feeling inspired to learn more. As well as being clear and organized, he was also very engaging and fun to talk to. All in all, it was an excellent experience- and we would be excited to take more classes in the future, and would strongly recommend them to our friends. Katelyn Kennedy and Robbie Young, Powell River, BC
Brianna is incredibly knowledgeable and was able to answer all of our questions. Great day of learning!! Patricia D, Campbell River, BC
The course was great, exactly what I was looking for! Our instructor did a great job explaining maps, compass use, and how to apply them in the field. She was very patient with us when reminding us how to find our position. Our group had quite a few questions, which she had no problem answering! I would definitely recommend this course to others. Ian Scott, Victoria, BC
My friends and I just completed Wilderness Navigation One with Brianna and it was an awesome day. She was extremely knowledgeable and we are anxious to do another course with this outfit. Highly recommend this company and Brianna to anyone wanting to expand their knowledge base. Sherry M, Comox, BC
I really enjoyed the Navigation course. Nate was an excellent instructor who was very engaging, knowledgeable and responsive. The course was well paced and just what I was looking for. Can't wait to go out and try my new skills with my newly purchased compass. Thank you! Lisa Booth, Esquimalt, BC
Christine was very professional, knowledgeable, empathetic and caring. Full marks! Michael, Victoria, BC.
I thought the course was extremely valuable. The topics covered were delivered by Rob in a thoughtful and logical manner that allowed me to build confidence toward the practical portion. Putting the skills together in the afternoon was great. Rob coached us through our own mistakes which let us understand and correct them as we progressed. Having a knowledgeable and respectful instructor reflects well on Hike Vancouver Island / IAG and I hope to learn more from them in the future. - Dave,