Navigation & Map Reading

Imagine you’re walking in the mountains and suddenly, the cloud engulfs you. Batteries in your GPS or phone die at the most inconvenient times. You get your map and compass out and easily get yourself off the mountain to safety because you learned some navigation and map reading skills. Your Instagram photo on the summit was a bit crap but you’re still alive!

Why Learn Navigation & Map Reading?

Learning navigation skills and how to read a map properly will mean you can go out on more adventures, like in bad weather or even at night! You don’t need to rely on tech, which will fail you eventually, I promise. Taking a one to one course with me will mean you are independent on the fells and could be the difference between getting to safety yourself or being carried down by Mountain Rescue.

Your experiences in the wild outdoors will become more interesting AND much more fun.

Navigation in the Peak District
Navigation in the Peak District

If all you ever want to do is walk in good weather, you are living in the wrong country! The Lake District seems to have its own weather system and can be unpredictable, the Peak District can be murky most of the time (Bleaklow has a very apt name) with low lying fog and don’t get me started on Scotland! It’s like cloud and bad weather is hiding round the corner waiting for you.

Instead of being afraid of fog, mist, cloud, rain, sleet and snow, why not just embrace it all, learn how to navigate, buy a good coat and have the time of your life? Now you can venture out into the wild in bad weather or even at night!

Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping

Just because we love the freedom to be able to navigate with a map and compass, this doesn’t mean we are anti-digital mapping. Even if you pretend that you never use it on the hills digital mapping is very useful when planning a trip or expedition.

Plotting routes on Ordnance Survey Online is an excellent way to gauge your distances and moreover the ascent along a trail. Take a look and give it a go

Learn Navigation & Map Reading With Me

A day isn’t a long time to teach all of this stuff so I’ll try to get all of the basics through during the morning.

Silva Expedition 4-360 Compass
Get your Silva Expedition 4 Compass here

You’ll learn how to use an Ordnance Survey map as a visual representation of the world around you and how to read symbols on it to recognise features on the ground.

After lunch we’ll look at the compass and how it can help you cross featureless terrain. Then it’s up to you to get us to the summit and back down to the village. You’ll work out a plan for this yourself and everything will start slotting into place.

I’ll show you how to use what you’ve learned without having to hold your map and compass in your hand all the time. I’m patient, friendly and good at gauging how you learn so will adapt my methods to suit you.

Come out for a day or a weekend and turn your walks into adventures!

What you’ll learn on my Navigation Workshop

Learning how to navigate and read maps can change your life.

Navigation isn’t just about getting yourself to safety when bad weather comes in, it’s about having fun planning your routes in the first place, being able to adapt and even plan for change.

It’s about making your route more interesting and then not having to focus so much on all of that when you’re out in the mountains with your family and friends.

What’s Included On The Course?

Here’s a brief syllabus for my navigation course:

Day 1

  • ​Reading Maps – Map scales & symbols
  • Grid references
  • Open access and ‘where you’re allowed’
  • Measuring distance – pacing & timing
  • The compass & taking a bearing
  • Hand rails, catching features, attack points & aiming off
  • Understanding contour lines
  • Naithsmith’s Rule

Day 2

  • Focus on contours
  • Practice
  • More practice
  • Even more practice
  • Testing

Oh, and I will provide the map for the day AND a pint or brew at the end so you get chance to ask as many questions as you need to.

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