Learn the Art of Navigation

Learn The Art of Navigation


Gain the confidence needed to successfully plan your own navigationally challenging walks, or refresh rusty techniques.

By Angela Owen

Using GPS is a great navigational tool if it isn’t the only tool you have, batteries run flat, the straight line they show doesn’t consider cliff edges. A GPS should never be a substitute for a map and compass. Learning the art of navigation is all about locating exactly where you are and being able to decide the quickest, easiest and safest route back. Navigation is a skill like any other skill it takes time and practice – trial and error so start in a lowland area learn the basics of reading a map and then move on to mastering a compass and reading the contours of the land.

“When walking alone in a jungle of true darkness,

there are three things that can show you the way:

instinct to survive, the knowledge of navigation,

creative imagination. Without them, you are lost.”

― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Path2Peaks Navigation Practice Courses – we will take you off the beaten track, this is a practical and fun way to learn the art of navigation. Our hands on one or two full day courses are based in the Dark Peak area, which is a perfect place to practice navigational skills. Select from our Bronze, Silver or Gold packages.

Most Mountain Rescue call outs are due to use of inappropriate footwear, poor planning and bad navigation.  Navigation in the UK is difficult as we don’t have lots of signposts scaring the landscape.

What you will learn

Gain the confidence needed to successfully plan your own navigationally challenging walks, or refresh rusty techniques.

  • Setting the map
  • Interpreting contours
  • Key Symbols
  • How to use the compass
  • Navigating in poor or limited visability
  • Estimating distances using pacing and timings
  • Plan and follow routes across featureless terrain
  • What to do if you think you are lost
Navigation Course 1
Navigation Course 2
Navigation Course 3
Navigation Course 4
Navigation Course 5
French Country

Who are our courses for?

Our courses are perfect for complete novices, seasoned walkers or those wishing to do their HML or ML training. It will give you the confidence needed to devise your own routes.

  • Individuals preparing for a National Body Qualification
  • Team Building Events
  • Novices
  • Seasoned Walkers
  • Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers
  • People Preparing for a Long Distance Trek
  • Hill and Mountain Lovers
  • Duke of Edinburgh Practice
  • People who love the Great Outdoors

Course Dates

Bronze

Saturday 30th June 2018

Silver

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th July 2018

Gold

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July 2018

Contact

For any enquiries please email

angelaowen@path2peaks.com


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April Newsletter



Bronze, Silver and Gold Navigation Courses.

Path2Peaks Navigation Practice Courses – we will take you off the beaten track, this is a practical and fun way to learn the art of navigation. Our hands on one or two full day courses are based in the Dark Peak area, which is a perfect place to practice navigational skills. Select from our Bronze, Silver or Gold packages. These courses make a fantastic gift for someone who loves the great outdoors.
Prices include a qualified and insured Mountain Leader with a Wilderness First Aid Certification


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Dragon’s Back – Guided Walk

Parkhouse hill and Chrome hill are known as the ‘Dragons back’ these huge chunks of limestone are coral reefs left towering high above the landscape from when a warm sea submerged the peak, more 340 million years ago. These hills have been noted as an official Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the wide range of limestone flora so they are a truly spectacular place to walk. The walk involves quite a lot of height gain – for people who are fit and active this will not cause a problem, but there are some steep ascents and descents over slippery limestone which need care. A great walk with fantastic photo opportunities, definitely a walk you will remember

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Coast2Coast Walking Holiday

The Coast to Coast walk is the brainchild of Alfred Wainwright, a well-known writer and hill-walker. The 190 mile walk from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay crosses 3 National Parks, undoubtedly some of England’s finest scenery.  Starting beside the Irish Sea with wonderful walking through the mountains of the Lake District, then across the Pennines and down Swaledale, the North York Moors and then on to dramatic coastal scenery on the east coast. This Coast to Coast Guided Walking Holiday will be an adventure you will never forget.

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

What can I say other than I absolutely loved it!

It was remote – we were the only people to walk on Beinn Odhar that day – even though I got a little excited on the way down to find footprints going up, I quickly realised that they were ours.

Scotland in late February gave me what everyone had promised – lots and lots of the white stuff I was so desperately looking for.

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The complete white out came from nowhere and forced us to focus completely and to trust the compass bearing we had taken at the bottom which would get us to the top. It was literally all we had – both iphones were dead due to the cold – so no reassuring sneaky checks on the OS app. My walking partner disappeared out of sight after taking 20 steps. It was too steep to retrace our way back down safely, so the only way was up. Get to the summit and take a bearing from the top was the plan, looking at the map we knew there was a less steep spur we could take down to the valley we just had to get an accurate bearing from the top to  it.   We knew we could do it and stayed positive.

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Stay Calm and Focus in the White Room!

I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being afraid – I was scared.  If I had closed my eyes and been spun around I wouldn’t have had a clue where I was. At that point I was clinging on to my sense of direction and memory of where I had been and relating that to the map.  I stayed calm and focused on the accuracy of the bearing we were leapfrogging on 20 pace legs. It was a slow process but it felt like the safest thing to do. We were overjoyed when we hit the summit just 2 meters to the left of the cairn. We were so proud that we had trusted the map and compass and our pacing, it had certainly paid off.

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On the way down we were able to relate what the land was doing to the map, in conjunction with pacing and timings –  which helped reassure us that we were on the right track. This was invaluable in featureless terrain.

Being prepared -planing well helped us know what we expected to see and when –visualising the route before we set off really helped. Trust in our abilities and faith in the map and compass is what kept us calm and positive.

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It was an amazing and invigorating experience one which has left me hankering for more Scottish winter days.  Watch this space…..

 

What I packed in my rucksack for a day of winter walking in Scotland.