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

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 that the phone was not really good enough to follow the detail of paths through the village and over fields.

On our First Steps to Map Reading and Navigation course we show people how to get out of the village buy lining the map up with the ground and then using a compass to confirm their direction.  In the afternoon we use the same moorland as the first couple to walk off the paths and look for interesting features. None of this is difficult, but does set you free from relying on a mobile phone or guide book.  

I am far front being a ‘technophobe’ and use iPad, laptop and phone for planning routes and sometimes checking where I am, but using a map and compass is still so satisfying and a skill you will not regret acquiring.

Don't just take my word for it; read what others have said about our courses, then why not give it a go. What have you got to loose?

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