Monday, 26 November 2012

A Glorious Night Out!


A Glorious Night Out!
The weather over the past weekend was one of forecasts for heavy rain and flooding across the country. Amidst this Peak Navigation Courses still managed to run a successful night navigation course that was acclaimed as brilliant by the students attending!

“Thanks for last nights night nav session. Really enjoyed it!”  Ashley Dawson

Night Navigation, planning strategies
The night navigation courses are really designed for people who already have good navigation skills and are able to use a map and compass to cross open moorland. What they aim to achieve is to introduce the necessary strategies to cope in poor visibility simulating what happens should the mist come down or should you get caught out after darkness. Hopefully the course will leave students confident to get out and practice for themselves (practice makes perfect!).

The course we run starts at 6.30pm during the winter months and involves a practical session of around three hours. Conditions last Saturday were some of the most challenging that we have known. However being just a short course for experienced hill walkers the course was on.



Night Navigation, working out bearings and distances
Darkness and mist coupled with persistent rain made for really limited visibility. Normally there is enough light to see some lumps and bumps and even dips on the horizon, etc. However there was such limited visibility that this was a true learning experience. Students usually find it o.k. to walk short distances just following their compasses lining up with things they can see in their beams. However this proved difficult in such dense mist and the most useful technique was to “leap frog” with another student pacing just 25m before turning around and being lined up. (25m proved to be the limit of torch beams on the night).

Various techniques were put into practice including relocation before we adjourned to the pub for a celebration debrief. None of us were left wearing a dry item of clothing  but all agreed that it was a realistic experience.

Peak Navigation Courses run a range of map reading and navigation courses in the Peak District National Park. Courses are aimed from absolute beginners to those with lots of experience who want to refine their skills.