Below is a list of classes I’ve taken (or scheduled) in my quest to become an outdoor adventure guide.
Map and Compass Navigation Basics
REI Spokane; October 23, 2018. Hands-on class covered the parts of a compass, how to read a topographic map, and how to use the two in tandem. Practiced triangulation and navigation following a bearing. Studied route planning using a topographic map.
Wilderness Survival Basics
Wilderness Awareness School, Duvall, Washington; May 11 & 12, 2019. Hands-on introduction to the skills and knowledge necessary to live through a short-term wilderness survival situation (72 hours). Topics included essential survival gear, survival priorities, and how to stay positive. Skills practiced included:
- Building a fire
- Making a life-saving shelter
- Purifying water
- Wild edible foods
- Creating a survival kit
Introduction to Kayak Touring – Level 1
REI Seattle; May 19, 2019. Class covered proper kayak and gear selection, essential paddle strokes, and bracing to help prevent capsizing. Practiced wet exits, assisted recovery methods, and self recovery using a paddle float.
Kayak Rescues and Recovery – Level 2
REI Portland; June 8, 2019. Practiced wet exits, assisted recovery methods, and self recovery methods, with and without a paddle float.
Lightweight Backpacking Workshop
REI Olympia; July 11, 2019. Interactive hands-on class reviewing each attendees’ packed, trail-ready backpack and a discussion of lightweight options.
Olympia Mountaineers; Winter 2020. Four evening lectures and one full-day course snowshoe field trip, plus two additional snowshoe field trips, covering backcountry travel, avalanche awareness and safety, route selection, cold weather ailments, clothing, and equipment.
Snowshoe Avalanche Awareness
REI Olympia; January 22, 2020. An introduction to avalanches, including where and why avalanches occur and a basic approach to managing risk in the backcountry. Topics covered local avalanche bulletins and weather reports, basic signs of avalanche danger, and simple ways to help avoid avalanche danger.
Olympia Mountaineers; Winter 2020. Two full days of lectures and hands-on practice covering the ten essentials, nutrition, injury prevention, water purification, shelter, clothing, equipment, hiking etiquette, unplanned overnight survival, and navigation basics using a compass and topographic map.
Tacoma Mountaineers; Winter 2020. Lectures over several evenings covering equipment, clothing, food, winter first aid, and avalanche awareness. Weekend snowshoe camping trip to Paradise Valley with hands-on instruction pitching tents on snow and building snow structures, including snow caves and trenches.