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Showing posts from 2020

Why do I Need a Map Reading and Navigation Course when I have my mobile phone?

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In the last few days, I have watched 2 couples out for walks in the Peak District struggling to follow a route using a mobile phone.
The first was on a fairly isolated bit of moorland; the weather was not the best, and we had just finished talking with our 4 clients about safety and using a compass on the moor where people have got lost in bad weather. The couple concerned spent a good 10 minutes looking at their phone, trying to work out where they were and then wanted to get to. As we returned to our cars, we met them again on the road - they had presumably walked to the far side of the moor, then joined the road for a mile or so. They could have had a lovely off-path walk round the moor, much nicer than the road, had they had the skills to work this out for the map.
Today I met another couple in our village, looking for a footpath. They asked a neighbour where to go, but a few minutes later had hardly moved and still looking perplexed so I gave them further directions and suggested t…

Using a Compass for Map Reading and Navigation

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Using a Compass for Map Reading and Navigation
It’s a commonly held misconception that a compass is only useful for navigating across open moorland, mountain terrain or in the mist.Additionally many people carry a compass but do not know how to use it!

We have been living and working in the Peak District for many years teaching Map Reading and Navigation. Frequently we watch people park up un the village green opposite our house get togged up for a walk and set off, only to see them coming back 5 or 10 minutes later as they had initially set off in the wrong direction. This is especially true of young people on their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions.





Using a compass to “orientate” your map before setting off helps you to then recognise where features are on the ground (preferably using a 1:25k scale map) and therefore which way to leave the car park or village. With a quick measurement using the scale ruler on your compass, you can gauge how far the footpath is from where you are an…