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Students walking on tree with a guide cable

Introduction to Backcountry Hiking and Navigation

What you’ll learn

Build confidence, capacity, and knowledge while having fun! Get off the beaten track with our Introduction to Backcountry Hiking and Navigation Workshop Series!

Join us to learn the essential gear to bring while hiking in the wilderness, safety considerations while on the trail, and the fundamentals of navigation. Weekday evening classes will focus on choosing a hike based on terrain and timing, route planning, essential gear for day trips, and navigation theory. Weekend class will be primarily field-based providing opportunities for practical application, navigation in the field, and emergency preparedness.

Everyone is welcome, no previous experience is necessary!

Develop your wilderness skills!


This is a 3-day workshop held on:

  • Friday :: 6PM – 8PM,
  • Saturday :: 9AM – 4PM
  • Sunday :: 9AM – 4PM
    (See calendar below for upcoming session dates!)

Instructor ratio:



In class:

  • Westcoast Adventure College campus
    5449 Sooke Rd., Sooke, BC V9Z 0C8

In Field:

  • Various South Island parks and wilderness areas including:
  • East Sooke Park
  • Sooke Hills
  • Goldstream Park

Cost: $120



Students camping, lighting a fire and map reading

About our workshops

Our ethos is built on the foundation of connecting people to their environment. Each workshop is designed to provide learning and practice to hone individual skills. Vancouver Island is one of the best locations for outdoor education in Canada and with our experienced instructors and the diverse outdoor classrooms, participants will explore their backyard with a fun and educational focus.

About Us

Westcoast Adventure College was started in 2002 and has graduated over 300 wilderness guides. We are British Columbia’s premier Adventure Tourism College and with accreditation by the BC Private Training Institutions Branch we ensure the highest level of experience and skills required for today’s Adventure Tourism industry. Over 20 years in wilderness education has proven to us that the benefits of outdoor learning on participant confidence and knowledge retention is unparalleled.

Our Instructors

All of our instructors are professionals in the field with years of experience across BC and the world. See instructor bios here.

2022 Calendar

#1) January 28 – 30, 2022
#2) February 25 – 27, 2022
#3) March 11 – 13, 2022

*Schedule is subject to change.

Get prepared

Westcoast Adventure College provides the instructors and safety equipment. Students supply all personal snacks, drinks, and lunch and personal gear.

Please familiarize yourself with our Covid-19 Policies and Agreement.

  • Gear List

    Weekday class will be held indoors. Participants should bring note-taking material, any personal snacks or water, and a face mask.

    Weekend classes will be mostly outdoors. Participants should be prepared to spend the day outdoors.

    What you’ll need:

    • Waterproof outer layers (rain jacket and pants)
    • Waterproof footwear
    • Appropriate warm layers if it is cold/ rainy forecast (ex. mitts and toque)
    • Snacks and lunch
    • Water
    • Face mask
    • Personal hand sanitizer
    • Hat
    • Note-taking material
    • Compass
    • Binoculars