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Basic Navigation Day course

Price and dates


Duration and times: one day. Session lasts from 09.00 until 16.00 (please arrive on time as you may miss content if you arrive late)

Course content: Use of map and compass, grid references, use of landmarks, contours, handrails, navigation strategies

This course will teach you how to navigate on low level paths using map and compass. The content is suitable for both beginners or intermediate navigators.

This course is the first day of our NNAS Bronze award - this is suitable if you just want to cover the basic content in a day and don't need to be assessed for the award.

We will start by explaining and demonstrating the basic navigational principles of map and compass. Once we have covered the basic knowledge we will go on a navigational journey as a group. This will be a chance to test people's ability to relate the map features to the landscape, and demonstrate navigation strategies.

Learning outcomes: You should be able to:

  • read and take a grid reference
  • know how to use a map and compass to navigate between two points
  • be able to interpret terrain based on map contours
  • Understand the nature of a map as a two dimensional plan.
  • Understand how to use map symbols and scales, on a variety of maps.
  • Take a 6 figure grid reference for any given position and also locate such a reference on the map.
  • Orientate the map with and without a compass.
  • Use the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.
  • Choose simple navigation strategies and routes.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Estimate distance on both map and ground.
  • Using a basic understanding of contours, match major landforms like hills and valleys to their map representation.
  • Plan a safe, suitable walk.
  • Relocate using simple techniques on paths and other handrails.
  • Understand access rights and responsibilities.


Please bring the following kit with you (some of this is optional):

  • Suitable outdoor clothing including waterproofs and outdoor boots/wellies
  • A drink for the day (e.g. thermos) and packed lunch, snacks
  • A watch (for timings)
  • A compass (if you have one) but we do have some for loan
  • Torch (during the winter)
  • Insect repellant and suncream (during the summer)
  • Any medications you need

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