Navigation is a fundamental skill which, once learnt, will greatly increase your enjoyment and safety in the British hills and further afield. Our navigation courses cover the full spectrum of skills from the basics of setting the map and taking a bearing to fine tuning the abilities of mountain marathon competitors. If you want to know what to do when you’re lost or lack the confidence to explore the hills when the cloud is low then our courses will point you in the right direction!
The navigation course will be based outdoors on the hill to give all members the maximum opportunity to learn and practise new skills. It will be taught in a practical way, starting with the basics and progressing at a rate to suit the group. We will aim to cover some of the following skills on this course:
- Build upon basic skills and techniques previously learnt.
- Relate features on the ground to their corresponding map contours (for example small hills, small valleys, prominent re-entrants and prominent spurs).
- Use prominent hills, ridges, spurs and valleys as a means of navigation in good visibility.
- Use landforms and point features to orientate the map and as collecting and catching features.
- Use a compass to accurately follow a bearing; aim off; check the direction of handrails and other linear features.
- Deviate briefly from a compass bearing to avoid obstacles or difficult terrain and accurately regain the original line.
- Use back bearings to check route following accuracy.
- Measure distance on the ground in varied, open terrain using timing and pacing and make practical allowances for any discrepancies.
- Simplify legs using coarse navigation, attack points and fine navigation.
- Recognise dangerous or difficult terrain on map and ground.
- Plan and implement navigational strategies based on the above skills.
- Maintain route finding accuracy in poor visibility or darkness.
- Recognise a navigation error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
- Understand how personal fitness and nature of terrain affect route choice both at the planning stage and on the ground.
- Understand the potential consequences of fatigue and physical discomfort in demanding terrain and/or extreme weather conditions.
- Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid items for walking in open country in all weather conditions.
If you are a complete beginner or want to go back to basics, choose our Introduction to Navigation Course. If you would like to expand on the basic skills, then this Improve your Navigation Course will be for you.
Please do NOT book your own accommodation and make travel arrangements until you have verified that the course is guaranteed to run.