Taking a Bearing - Hope Mountain Centre Taking a Bearing - Hope Mountain Centre GPS-Hiking the Trail - Hope Mountain Centre Anders and Sue - Hope Mountain Centre Triangulating with Map & Compass - Hope Mountain Centre Group at Landstrom Lunch Stop - Hope Mountain Centre

Who Should Take This Course?

Outdoor enthusiasts, search-and-rescue volunteers, recreational resource managers.

TRADITIONAL MAP & COMPASS — Saturday, April 12th

This one-day class teaches participants basic map and compass skills for wilderness navigation.
Compass Learning.

You will learn to:

  • Pinpoint your location on a topographic map using a compass and triangulation
  • Take a compass bearing on a landmark from a map
  • Take a compass bearing on a landmark in the field
  • Measure distance and slope on a topographic map
  • Navigate a route using a map and compass
  • Navigate within low visibility situations (dead reckoning)
  • Navigate with a map only or compass only
  • Understand map vocabulary (latitude, longitude, easting, northing, coordinates, projections, datums, scale)
  • Understand the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) map projection system
  • Read topographic maps and interpret terrain from contour lines
  • Understand compass vocabulary (declination, azimuth, bearing, magnetic pole)
  • Understand and read altimeters (optional)

GPS NAVIGATION — Sunday, April 13th

This one-day class teaches effective backcountry navigation and data collection skills using a hand-held GPS. Participants will also learn how to plot their GPS data onto three-dimensional maps using Google Earth.

You will learn to:

  • Read UTM coordinates using a GPS
  • Read Lat/Long coordinates using a GPS
  • Navigate to a specific point using a GPS unit, a compass and a map
  • Record a traveled path (track) using a GPS unit
  • Record a waypoint with a GPS unit and enter attribute information for future reference
  • Download, convert and view GPS data in Google Earth after an expedition
  • Share your Google Earth maps with others
  • Delete information from a GPS unit after it is no longer relevant


Meeting Place:
Hope campus, University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)
1250 7th Avenue, Hope, BC V0X 1L4

Participants must get to Hope with their own vehicles and travel to the field locations with their own vehicles (carpooling is encouraged). Field locations will be close to town and accessible via well-maintained roads.


Course Structure:
Both Saturday and Sunday classes will combine classroom preparation and follow up with exercises in the field.


GPS Learning
Saturday, April 12th
8:45 AM – Arrive at UFV Campus in Hope (see map )
9:00 AM – Classroom session begins
10:00 AM – Depart for field-based activity in the Hope area
3:00 PM – Return to UFV Campus
4:30 PM – Classroom follow-up and course completion

Sunday, April 13th
8:45 AM – Arrive at UFV Campus in Hope (see map)
9:00 AM – Classroom session begins
10:00 AM – Depart for field-based activity in the Hope area
3:00 PM – Return to UFV Campus
4:00 PM – Classroom follow-up and course completion


  • The instructor will provide each participant with a quick reference sheet and summary of course content.
  • A list of free electronic mapping resources will be provided.
  • Paper maps will be provided during field exercises.
  • Hand-held GPS devices and compasses are available for rent.


  • Lunch and high-energy snack food
  • Water (at least 1 litre per person)
  • Hiking boots (no runners please)
  • Warm clothes and rain gear
  • Sunglasses, camera, binoculars
  • Azimuth compass (or rent from us)
  • Hand-held GPS device (or rent from us)


If a registration is cancelled 14 days or more before a program starts, HMCOL will refund the program fee and equipment rental fees (as applicable) minus an administrative cost of $20 per person. Program and equipment rental fees will not be refunded if a cancellation is received less than 14 days before the start of a program. A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund of program and equipment fees.


Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program.

Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants.

While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave Fido at home.


Register now online or reserve your spot by calling 604-869-1274, or by email at lklassen@hopemountain.org for more information.