Navigation Maps & Compass

OCC Navigation Maps & Compass Course

A two-day course with a comprehensive introduction to navigation using maps and compass.

This nationally recognized course will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) training in Navigation Maps and in Navigation Compass. The module includes an examination for proficiency and reviewing two manuals before the course. However, this module does not automatically qualify a person to lead in an environment where use of a map or a compass might be required. The course will be delivered by an OCC certified instructor. It is offered through Hike Nova Scotia in partnership with the NS Chapter of the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) and supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage.

This is a two-day course running usually from 9 am to 5 pm each day with short breaks throughout. There are both indoor and outdoor elements. There is some travel, usually by car, from the classroom space to the outdoor area and participants are responsible for their own transportation to the course and between the classroom and the outdoor area. Participants must bring their own compass. Here is info on what kind of compass is needed

Participants should have some hiking experience and be able to participate in a low risk natural environment hike on a designated trail while carrying what they will need for a day outside. Participants must have the physical ability to hike on a footpath with rocks and roots, etc. All participants are required to read two brief manuals beforehand. Participants who successfully meet the course outcomes will earn Outdoor Council of Canada Navigation Maps and Navigation Compass Certification. Most of the instruction will be in the classroom with experiential lessons on the trail. Participants must attend the full two-day course in order to receive certification. For further information regarding Navigation Maps and Navigation Compass Certification, please go to the Outdoor Council of Canada.


The cost is $150 (with an additional 15% off for paid Hike NS members). A reduced fee of $125 is available for Duke of Edinburgh leaders. Registration includes two electronic course manuals and a one-year membership with the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC members have access to many benefits). All participants must sign a waiver. Further course information will be provided upon registration. Participants are responsible for their own accommodation, meals and transportation.


Subsidies are available to those from equity-seeking groups. Please contact us if you would like to access one.

There are no Navigation courses scheduled for the spring of 2024 due to lack of instructor availability. More will be offered in the fall of 2024 - specific dates and locations will be announced before the end of June 2024. 

Closed courses for specific organizations can be arranged for a flat fee at any time. Please contact us to learn more as well as possible sources of funding to help your group get this training. 

Cancellation Policy

Hike NS requires three full days’ notice in order to reimburse anyone who wishes to cancel their registration. For example, if a course will take place on June 3, notice of cancellation by email or phone must be received by 5 pm on May 30 (allowing June 2, June 1 and May 31 as the three full days). Sometimes Hike NS must cancel a course due to instructor illness, low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstance. If Hike NS has to cancel the course, you will be contacted at least a day in advance and will be fully reimbursed.


Other Navigation Learning Opportunities

Other organizations offer navigation learning opportunities of different lengths and formats. Try the following organizations for possible upcoming courses:
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