• A path leads from the front of the picture into the horizon. The ground is grassy and has some rocks. There are rounded mountains with a dusting of snow in the distance and the sky is place blue with a light cloud cover.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 6 – How to Use Compass Bearings

    Welcome to the first lesson in the second part of the Compass Corner navigation series! The next five lessons will focus on intermediate navigation skills. During these lessons, we will cover subjects like; using time and distance as navigation aids, contour interpretation and contouring, as well as using the landscape to aid us with navigation. This includes how to handrail, aim off and choose catchment features. However, today’s lesson will answer the questions: how to use a compass bearing and what is magnetic variation? I covered the basics of compass use, and how to take a bearing, in the last lesson. Now, we will take a more in-depth look at…

  • A man in a yellow jacket, with a blue rucksack, navigating along a narrow rocky path against a backdrop of mountains and cloudy sky.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 5 – How to Use a Compass

    In this lesson, I will cover the basics of compass use for navigation. Knowing how to use a compass accurately is crucial for more advanced navigation techniques. It also becomes very important when navigating complex terrain or in poor visibility. Read on for a complete introduction on what is a compass, and how to use it. Followed by an easy step-by-step guide on how to take a bearing. If you have a specific question or aspect of navigating, that you’d like to learn more about, feel free to drop me a message or a comment – and I’d be happy to answer it in a future lesson!

  • Navigation practice in Glen Nevis with the footpath running along the river down the glen framed by hillsides on both sides.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 4 – How Create a Great Navigation Strategy

    All the term ‘navigation skills’ really means, is the ability to look at a map, plan a route and follow it. A good navigator will break these bigger tasks into smaller objectives. They will then create a solid strategy for how to approach these objectives methodically and work through them. Creating a good navigation strategy comes down to the 4 Ds of Navigation. Most commonly, these stand for distance, direction, description and duration. Read on for how to use these to create a navigation strategy which allows you to confidently navigate anywhere in the world.

  • A walker sitting down to take in the terrain around them.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 3 – Orientating Your Map to the Ground

    Orientating a map to the ground is a key skill and an important building block for developing your navigation skills. Orientating a map can be done using a compass and matching the map north with the compass north. However, this lesson will focus on how to orient your map without the help of a compass. This is important and will help you learn how to identify and match features on the map and the ground. Orientating a map means simply to line up the features on the map with those on the terrain in front of you. When doing this the map north will always match with the north on…

  • Grid references can be practiced anywhere. Here practicing navigation in the Peak District on a snowy day with a small country lane running to the distance along a fence, framed by snow covered fields.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 2 – Why are Grid References so Important?

    I have decided to cover this important skill early into the series, as it is so crucial in an emergency situation. Knowing how to find out the grid reference of your location, either using a map or another tool, can make all the difference when things go wrong. It is especially important to know how grid references work, if you ever need to alert the Mountain Rescue, or another rescue service. The brilliant thing about grid references is that they will always accurately describe your location anywhere in the UK. Recently other services, such as the What3Words, have become popularised for the same purpose. However, there are reasons why these…

  • Mountain navigation in Torridon
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 1 – How to Read a Map

    Are you interested in brushing up your navigation skills or learning how to read a map for the first time? This lesson will cover common maps used for outdoor activities in the UK, have a quick look at the common types of map symbols, and explain different map scales. The aim of this lesson is to help you to choose what type of map to use for your adventure and how to start using it for simple navigation and route planning. Learning to navigate in different circumstances will increase your confidence and allow you to move in the outdoors safely and independently! Learning how to read a map does not…

  • Map and compass are the key to learning navigation
    Navigation Lessons

    The Compass Corner – A New Series Of Free Navigation Lessons

    I am very excited to introduce you to my new series on navigation! I am an absolute map geek and love navigation in all its forms. The aim of this series is to teach a comprehensive range of navigation techniques. I firmly believe that anyone can learn navigation and the first 5 lessons are aimed at beginners! They cover how to learn navigation basics and start planning your own walks and hikes. The next 5 lessons build on these techniques and introduce navigating in more challenging terrain away from footpaths. The final 5 lessons cover advanced navigating techniques and navigating in poor visibility and dangerous terrain, as well as navigating…