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Map and Compass course

Map and Compass course

Mon 7th October 2013

Mungrisdale - what a venue for Shepherds Walks map & compass courses. The weather was even kind although I think our guide secretly wanted a bit of 'proper' Lake District conditions.

Fifteen participants had travelled from all corners including a happy band all the way from Sussex. Most people wanted either a bit of a refresher or more skill in using the compass - which is often the thing that puts people off navigating on their own or away from a guidebook.

Like the Rothbury course we started off in the classroom with a basic introduction to the map and compass (that plastic twirly thing with a red needle as it was called). After lunch we went outside to 'navigate' ourselves on two short journeys round very different landscapes.

The first loop was around a typical rural area that walkers find themselves in and often are more difficult to navigate around that being up on the fells with lots of field boundaries, twists and turns. Some were surprised to discover that the map isn't to be relied upon 100% as sometimes things exist on the ground but not on the map and vice versa. We also had a bit of practice at walking on a compass bearing. Perhaps the most useful thing we learnt was that is if you look up from the map occasionally we can appreciate the view and there are plenty of things in the landscape that can help to fix your position without resorting to a GPS!

The second loop took us over a bit rougher ground and used features like streams and fences to help us navigate. On the way were also learnt a little bit of the local history.

Here's some of the thoughts on the day, thanks for your feedback.

- Thanks for a great day. I look forward to putting what I have learnt into practice.

- Good course, well instructed.

- Very enjoyable.

- A very informative and enjoyable day.

- A fantastic team.

- Found the day very useful and feel confident that with practice when out walking will gain even more confidence.

- Excellent day.

- Thanks very much. You were really useful and patient. A really enjoyable day.

- Paul was very helpful and knowledgeable. Excellent course.

- Professionally run course at the right pace.

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