Navigation Skills Courses

Navigation Skills Weekend Course.     £90 per person (single day £50 per person)

Dates: These run in the Autumn months in Snowdonia. Dates to follow. Please enquire if you would like more info

2 days of navigation skills starting with a basic introduction to mountain navigation on the Saturday, with consolidation skills day on the Sunday.  The course is suitable for runners, mountain bikers, mountaineers and walkers with an interest in knowing where they are!

Saturday: Basic Introduction

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: Putting skills into practice

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.  Depending on numbers we will split into 2 smaller groups, each with a trainer, to allow everyone the chance to get in front and do some hands-on navigating, and receive more personalised training input.



Who’s it for? Any outdoors person who wants to build confidence and efficiency when navigating in hilly or mountainous terrain. We start with the basics so you can come along with zero knowledge, a bit of knowledge or quite a lot of knowledge and hopefully we can bring everyone along together.

How fit do I need to be? You should be capable of walking over rough terrain for a few hours without becoming overly tired.  Rough, untracked terrain can be harsh on ankles and knees, so make sure you have no existing injuries in that area.  The conditions could be cold and rainy in November so you should be capable of looking after yourself

Who is the course provider? The course will normally be delivered by Ric, who has spent many years training and assessing Mountain Leaders,  Instructors and Guides for navigation assessments, and has been delivering courses like this for many years. Ric is occasionally helped by other guides and instructors who are also local to Snowdonia and will be experienced trainers too. The ethos of the course is that it’s pretty relaxed , so you can ask all the silly questions about navigation that you were too embarrassed to ask!

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 and gaiters are a good idea – as your feet will stay warmer and drier than if you wear fell or trail shoes. Gaiters are especially good for keeping feet dry when yomping through the bogs and 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. Ideally maps should be laminated or in a waterproof map case. 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, tea and coffee. 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: Autumn 2020. TBC

Cost £90 per person for the 2 days .  Group size 8 max

Booking : Email for booking information and payment details.


Hillwalkers in Snowdonia with maps and compasses using navigation skills