Navigation Skills Courses

Navigation Skills Weekend Course.    2 days £90, 1 day £50. **These usually run in the autumn or spring in Snowdonia.  Please get in touch if you are interested in joining a group or being notified of forthcoming courses **

2 days of navigation skills starting with a basic introduction to mountain navigation on the Saturday, followed by a more advanced skills day on the Sunday. Either day can be attended independently, or you can do the whole weekend and develop your skills as you go. The course is suitable for runners, mountain bikers, mountaineers and walkers with an interest in knowing where they are!

Saturday: Basic Introduction to Mountain Navigation

Saturday starts off indoors with a classroom session looking at the nuts and bolts of map and compass work, either learning or refreshing skills such as identifying map features, measuring heights and distances, and taking bearings and timings from the map. The focus will be on gaining a solid understanding of the tools of navigation and the information available from your map.

In the afternoon we will then take the skills outdoors and work on relating them to features on the ground.  This will involve taking distance measurements from your map and counting them out on the ground, over all types of mountainous terrain, using timing, pacing and landmark features. You will also be taking directional bearings from the map and then following them on the ground using your compass.

Sunday: Advanced Navigation Skills

On the Sunday the emphasis will be on developing the skills learned on day 1, with additional practice and use of more complex techniques to help you gain confidence.  We will be mainly outside, starting with a mountain journey and returning indoors later in the afternoon. Other skills we will aim to cover will be close contour interpretation, bad weather/winter navigation strategies and developing your relocation skills to help you when you get ‘lost’! If we have time we will have a look at the use of some digital mapping tools for navigation and planning.

If you are considering attending just the Sunday, then ideally you would already have learned the skills of taking bearings and walking on them, and using timing and pacing over different terrain to measure distance on the ground.

Hillwalkers in Snowdonia with maps and compasses using navigation skills

Who’s it for? Any outdoors person who wants to build confidence and efficiency when navigating in hilly or mountainous terrain

How fit do I need to be? You should be capable of walking over rough terrain for a few hours without becoming overly fatigued

Who is the course provider? The course will be delivered by Ric, who has spent many years training and assessing Mountain Leaders,  Instructors and Guides for navigation assessments.

What do I need to bring?  You’ll need pen and paper, outdoor clothing (including some warm layers), packed lunch and drink, headtorch, warm hat and gloves, all in a small backpack.  Boots are a good idea – as your feet will stay warmer and drier than if you wear fell or trail shoes, gaiters are also a good idea for keeping feet dry or yomping through the heather!  Some compasses can be provided but if you have your own please bring them along. You will need your own 1:25,000 map of Snowdonia, and if you have a 1:50,000 or Harveys map of Snowdonia also bring them along. If you want to buy a compass then I recommend one that has the same features as a Silva Expedition 4.

What’s included in the cost?  Instruction for the day, the use of a classroom during the morning on the Saturday. Transport will be shared, accommodation and food not included.

Where and When ?  The course will kick off a 9.30 am and we should be finished by 5pm !

Dates: TBC.  Probably weekends in November

Cost £90 per person for 2 days, £50 per person for a single day .  Group size 6 max

Booking : Email for booking information and payment details.