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Showing posts from 2019

Choosing a compass to get the best out of your Peak Navigation Course

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At Peak Navigation Courses, we pride ourselves in our compass navigation, getting a real thrill out of sharing map and compass navigation techniques with others

Whether you are a complete beginner or joining one of our advanced navigation courses where we use the compass to cross Kinder Scout, choosing the best compass for you can be a real minefield. Go to one of the outdoor or online shops and you will find a sometimes bewildering array of different compasses, so which is best, and how do you choose?

If you are a new hill walker, or never used a compass before, a cheaper model is often appealing.  You can pick a compass up from an online shop for a couple of pounds, but is it worth it?



As a starter compass, this may seem appealing, it is light, easy to carry and will point north. However the plastic base is very short, and lacks an arrow to show which direction you should walk - not one we would recommend.
The Vango DLX is a reasonable quality compass, with a good sized plastic base…

How to use a Compass

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How to use a compass
A compass is a simple and brilliant navigation tool.  At the very least it will have a needle that points north which will allow you to orientate your map and give you a rough indication of which way to walk.  If you have one designed for hill walking, mountaineering and orienteering then you will have "the full monty" and be able to use it for accurate map reading and navigation.  The compass used to illustrate this blog is a Silva type 4 Expedition (not the military version) and is a great all round compass. In this short feature I can't teach you all of the techniques involved in navigation but will show you how to use a compass to navigate across a short stretch of open moorland from a known point (where you are) to another point (where you want to go).

Step 1:
I want to navigate from the Trig Point 590m to Madwoman's Stones.































Step 2:
Lay the edge of the compass across the Trig Point 590m and Madwoman's Stones.
It is important to have the &q…

AZ Adventures 1:25000 scale maps for walkers

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Only a few minutes before the start of our last First Steps to Map Reading course, Mike walked into the training room with a small package. "You might like this" he said, passing it over to me. On opening I discovered 2 AZ Adventures booklets of 1:25000 Peak District mapping, together with case and lanyard.
Thanks to the wonders of social media, I had been offered these to review.  During this particular course, I talk about the various mapping options available to walkers, and had often mentioned the AZ maps, but never actually bought one.  I included them in the list that morning, and the group of relatively experienced walkers were quite impressed, and I have to say so were we.

So what makes AZ Adventures different?  The most obvious is that in keeping with AZ a pedigree, these are uniquely in a book or atlas format, which means no wrangling with large cumbersome maps, a wonderful bonus when it is blowing a gale out in the hill. This does mean you have to flick over the …