Intro I Improver I Two Day I Night I Winter
Knowing how to use a map and compass to navigate through the hills and mountains is a 'bread and butter' skill that all hillwalkers should have, even if it is tempting to default to mobile technology to get through your day. The better your navigation skills are, the more confident you can be whilst out, and essentially you can have better adventures by taking on routes in inclement weather or even heading off the beaten track.
In winter your navigation must be on point otherwise things can get quite serious very quickly. If you're keen to make the transition from summer to winter walker also think about winterising your navigation skills too.
All our instructors have a real passion for teaching navigation as quite simply we love passing on the skill and seeing people develop. Increasingly so we're getting people come to us for courses as they feel they have become over reliant on their mobile phones, and in just a few hours with us we'll help you see that navigating with a map and compass isn't as hard as it may have first thought.
Throughout the year we will have a series of scheduled navigation training courses, on which you can join a small group (max 6). Alternatively you can book a bespoke course on a date to suit you and your group.
2021 Scheduled Navigation Training Courses
Bespoke Navigation Training Course Options - Book a date to suit you
INTRO / BEGINNERS
TWO DAY COURSE
Intro I Two Day I Four Day I Summit Experiences I Navigation
On this page you will find our range of Navigation Training Courses that are provided in the Lake District. Whether you're looking to get to grips with the basics, or further your current abilities and add some more advanced skills to your skillset we've got a course to suit. All courses can are arranged on a bespoke basis - so don't hesitate to contact us as soon as you have a date in mind!
Our basic navigation courses are held over the course of one day and last between 5-6 hours depending on the size of the group. The course is ideal for anyone who has had limited to no contact with maps and hasn't really ever used a compass to navigate. This is a very practical course, with the vast majority of the time spent out on the mountains learning and using the skills. Over the duration of the course you can expect to cover:
Learning about the Map - May Symbols, Scales and Grid References
Following Routes and navigational tactics - Map orientation, handrails, catchment features
Compass Work - How to do a bearing and walk on it accurately
Gain a basic understanding of pacing and timing to maintain position
Contour Interpretation for a higher understanding of map reading
If you look at the Intro Course and feel you can already do most of the skills to a reasonable standard, then our improver course may be right up your street. As the courses are run on a bespoke basis, we can spend some of the course refreshing the above skills. This course will generally be based in a more complex area of terrain where less obvious features such as paths and walls can be used to navigate by. What this allows us to work on is your ability to move across open ground using techniques such as bearings, pacing and timing as well as interpreting the contours.
The course is a practical one with all of the course spent out on the fell, and the course generally lasts about 6 hours. We have two great venues in Borrowdale and Langdale, however this course can again be held in a variety of locations to suit.
If you're looking at really making some gains on your navigational abilities, then a two day course is certainly the way to go. The second day really adds a lot of value in terms of consolidation of the skills learnt on the first day, and enables you to really take control under the guidance of an experienced tutor. As with all of our mountain skills courses the 2 day course can be tailored to suit your aspirations, so whether you're an absolute beginner or have a sturdy foundation already, you'll be sure to leave this course bulging with confidence. Each day will last approximately 5-6 hours depending on location and group size.
As previously mentioned the course will be tailored to your requirements, but you could expect to cover everything listed in the other two courses.
We can cater for groups of all sizes, however we would look to provide 1 instructor for every 6 people to ensure adequate learning and tuition was provded throughout the course.
If you have the confidence to be able to navigate at night then it opens up the spectrum of what you can do in the hills tenfold. Whether you simply want to start earlier or finish later to catch those dramatic sunrises and sunsets, or set off on a cold winter morning to get to that winter climb, being able to navigate at night would make the experience a whole lot more enjoyable.
If you already have some basic navigation skills then this course will be a good next step for you in order to push your skills to the next level.
Night Navigation is also a great way to simulate very poor conditions. If you can navigate well at night, the chances are you can do the same in thick mist! This course acts as a great 'bolt-on' to any of the above courses.
Ever heard the phrase 'it's like trying to navigate around inside a ping-pong ball'? - Anyone who has been caught in a whiteout whilst out winter walking will know exactly what this refers to!
Whilst out in summer, any navigational error may lead to a tricky descent or an extra few miles, but a poor decision in winter can quickly escalate into a serious situation. If you have a good understanding of navigation using a map and compass and venture out into the hills in winter, but want to gain a greater understanding of navigating when it all gets tricky then this is the course for you. This course aims to cover Navigational Tactics, improvement on Pacing and Timing, Accurate execution of compass bearings and Relocation Tactics.
This course is both physically and mentally demanding, so only those with a basic concept of navigation already and reasonable hill fitness should attend. Should winter conditions not be available for our chosen date we can seek alternative options such as night navigation.