Are you new to hillwalking and want to learn the basics of mountain navigation to get around the hills safely and efficiently? Or are you a regular hillwalker and lack the confidence to get off the beaten track and would like to be happy navigating in poor visibility and darkness? One of our navigation courses will help you.
For many, learning to navigate appears to be a dark art where strange forces and people in expensive gear stroll around the mountains with their heads fixed to a map. Thankfully this is far from the truth and the basic skills you need to navigate are relatively simple to grasp and will ensure you have safer days in the outdoors.
We run two courses.
Intro mountain navigation course.
Advanced mountain navigation course.
Both of the above will be predominantly run outdoors allowing you to learn and then practice all the techniques during our walk.
Intro navigation course
- Planning Routes (resources, websites etc)
- Choosing a map
- Reading the map
- Understanding scales and symbols
- Grid References
On the hill we will teach you how to:
- Orientate the map
- 4 D's of navigation
- Measure distances
- Navigate via linear features such as paths, walls and streams
- Develop hand railing techniques
- Basic contours & interpretation
Advanced navigation course.
- Recap basic skills
- Contour interpretation-map to ground , ground to map.
- Efficient timing and pacing stratejies
- Taking compass bearings.
- Poor visibility navigation strategies.
Who are our mountain navigation courses suitable for?
Our intro navigation course is ideal for the beginner or novice who is looking to learn how to read a map and use a compass so they can enjoy the outdoors. You don’t need any prior experience and our small group sizes ensure you will be given a more individual learning experience throughout the day. This course is also ideal for people who have previous experience of using maps and compass but need a refresher of the basic skills after some time away from the outdoors.
Our advanced course is suitable for people who are happy navigating on well trodden paths but want to venture into more adventurous terrain and want more confidence in poor visibility or darkness.
Why choose gradient adventure for your mountain navigation course?
We have 20+ years experience delivering these courses and live locally in Snowdonia. This means we know the best areas to go to develop your skills. We also regularly teach and assess these skills on Mountain leader courses.
How will your day be organised on your navigation course ?
We will meet at a predetermined spot, usually at 9am in a café(often Siabod café. Capel Curig). Here we will do up to an hour of theory. The rest of the day is spent outside learning to navigate in the great outdoors!
We don’t tend to cover huge distances on these courses. The emphasis is on practicing the techniques rather than practicing walking. The day will involve a short journey involving lots of stops to practice and review the techniques being taught.