Wilderness Navigation

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  • Map & compass basics
  • Advanced land navigation skills
  • GPS, Altimeters, Clinometers
  • Quizzes and practice problems


Why carry a compass unless you know how to use it? Wilderness Navigation is the most respected book for learning how to use a map and compass for backcountry navigation. We checked out all the major books on this subject and found this one to be clear, concise, and very thorough. It proceeds in a logical step-by-step fashion and has the best balance of teaching navigation basics and advanced skills. It’s the official navigation textbook used in many outdoor education courses with over 100K copies sold.

This best-selling guide gives you a solid handle on the essential tools and proven techniques of top-notch navigators. You will learn how to interpret maps, use a compass, and navigate with a GPS. It contains extensive illustrated examples of orientation and navigation, tips for using altimeters and clinometers, and an appendix of practice problems to test your new skills.


Inside you’ll find info on:

  • Map basics
  • Compass basics
  • Orientation with map and compass
  • Navigation with map and compass
  • How to avoid getting lost
  • Navigation using GPS and UTM coordinates
  • Declination changes
  • Altimeter and GPS basics
  • Wilderness route finding
  • Practice problems


About the Authors

Bob Burns has hiked, scrambled, climbed, and snowshoed extensively in the western states and provinces of the US and Canada. He has been teaching classes in the use of map and compass since the late 1970s. He is a coauthor of the navigation chapter in Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills and coauthored Wilderness GPS with his son, Mike.

Mike Burns is a rock, ice, and expedition climber; filmmaker; and outdoor gear consultant who has climbed throughout the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Nepal, Pakistan, and India, including a first ascent in the Himalaya. For the past 30 years he has been an instructor and lecturer on the technical aspects of climbing, section hiking, and navigation. He has written numerous articles for The Mountaineer and Climbing magazines. He is a contributor to Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills and coauthored Wilderness GPS with his father, Bob.



Publication: 2/24/2015, 3rd Edition

Pages: 176

Binding: Paperback