Wednesday 18 November 2015

Family Navigation Skills Training Days in The Lake District. Sunday 11th October 2015.

On Sunday October 11th, Iain spent the day with the Brown family helping them brush up on their Map Reading & Navigation Skills ability.

Steve had been bought one of our Gift Vouchers by wife Michelle  the previous Christmas and had asked to use it on a one day Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District. When booking the date with Iain, he had asked if it was ok to bring the rest of the family along: and the dog too? Of course we said yes!

Photo one sees the family on Hall Lane near Staveley. At this point we were trying to identify some distant woodland we could see and pinpoint it's location on the map.

As with many of our Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District, we had met in Staveley and then driven  up to Hall Lane to start the day.

We started out by learning how to orientate the map ie align it with the surrounding landscape - this immediately aids identification of what can be seen around.

We then followed this with working out how to measure distance on the map and then pace  it out on the ground.

By the time we got to where photo two was taken, we had moved on considerably in terms of skills input and learning; and the family were now learning about grid references.

Being able to find a location on the map using  a grid reference is essential as is actually being able to give a grid reference for a place where you are. This might be particularly useful  if one of your party has  an accident and Mountain Rescue needs to be called!

Grid references come in four, six or eight figures and the more figures, the more accurate you will be in pinpointing the location. In photo three, the family had been given an eight figure grid reference and had used it to locate the insignificant pool of water they were now standing next to. This was after they had learned the skill of taking a compass bearing; and then walking on that bearing to get there. Bravo!

We spent the rest of the day going from one grid reference to another on Green Quarter Fell. Each time the family had to work out the bearing and distance to the next point to be visited which would be checked by Iain for accuracy.  Iain also encouraged them to read the map to ensure that they knew what the ground would be doing between each grid reference and what they could expect to see  along the way. This would help them know where they were at all times!

We reached the summit of Birk Rigg at around 3:30pm  and sat down to discuss Naismith's Rule. Harold Naismith reckoned that most people walked in the mountains at around 3km per hour and that 1 minute should be added for each 10m contour crossed in ascent or descent. Iain reckons most people walk at about 5 km per hour thus taking 12 minutes to walk one kilometre. We spent about half an hour working out timings between various grid references in order to give the family another component to aid accuracy in navigation when out in the mountains.

The Brown family thoroughly enjoyed their Navigation Skills Training Day in The Lake District with Iain who wishes them all the best with their future forays in to the mountains.

A heads up for anyone who is interested - we have a Navigation Skills Training weekend taking place during November 28th & 29th 2015 if you would like to brush up on your Map Reading and Navigation Skills ability. Two people are definitely attending and there are places for up to another eight persons! The cost, if we get four persons or more, will be only £80 each for this great two day course. So if you are interested, contact us via the website or call Iain on 07761 483364 for details. We hope you can join us!

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