We get asked a lot by people booking our navigation courses “how can I best prepare”, so to help people with their basic navigation please read on.
My first tip is to read a book on navigation, some of our recommendations are Hillwalking – by Steve Long – MTA, and – Navigation by Pete Hawkins – Cicerone, the Pete Hawkins one is more in depth but the Steve Long book also covers all the navigation training you should need but also covers all the hill skills you’ll ever need for hillwalking, so it’s what best suits you and your budget.
My 2nd tip is to buy a 1;25.000 scale map of your local area and study it in microscopic detail. The thing I remember from my first navigation training and what still surprises me is the amount of detail there is on a map, especially the Ordnance Survey 1;25,000 Explorer Maps. Most people think navigation is all about compasses and pacing but these skills are rarely used for most navigators. The use of a map and recognising how the ground around you relates to the map is a key skill to learn early on, plus it’s amazing to realise what’s around your local area from the map that you never knew existed.
In order to help you understand where you are when walking round (remember to keep your eyes open when near roads etc) it may be worth downloading the “OS Locate App” as well, this is free and available on IOS and Android and will pin point your location.
From the map you can also read the “Customer Information” or what I would call the “Symbols Key”. Learning the symbols and what they mean can go a long way to understanding your surroundings. Also, the Harveys Maps have a lot of other information such as local services, local geology, 1st aid guidance, navigation guidance, crag & countryside code, emergency procedures and is good reading for the outdoors person.
Finally another good resource is The Steve Blackshaw and Ordnance Survey You Tube videos, there are 9 very short but useful video’s, watching these will help you familiarise yourself with the navigation basics
You don’t have to complete the above exercise to go on one of our Navigation Courses but it does help.
If you want more information on our navigation course, please visit – Navigation Training.