Considering it’s supposed to be ‘off season’ at the moment, we’ve been pretty busy of late and have enjoyed loads of great early winter days on the hill. Yesterday was no exception, with Kieran from Kendal joining us for a 1-day Navigation Course.
Kieran is a keen hill walker and wants to be able to push on and explore the Lakeland fells, but was concerned about what would happen when the weather inevitable turned for the worst and the clouds engulfed the summits.
We met Kieran in Coniston and after a chat a plan was hatched to head up above the Coppermines Valley and look at as many navigation techniques as possible in the day.
Kieran quickly picked up the basics of orientating the map, identifying ‘tick-off’ features and walking on a bearing, so after a morning of looking at simple navigational legs we headed into the remote Yewdale Moss to really focus on micro-nav.
This area is a great place to practice your navigation – there are no paths and the only real features to navigate off are the shapes of the land around you. Kieran did really well as we looked at various advanced techniques to find out way around and he progressed from walking on easy bearings, to measuring distances by pacing and using strategies such as aiming off, boxing and attack points to continually track precisely where we were.
After a while, we decided to step things up a bit and use only the shape of the land and the contours on our maps to find our way around – no compasses or distance measuring allowed! This is a great way of getting to grips with contours and understanding how they can be an amazing navigational aid – far more accurate than relying on paths, streams and other features.
Well done Kieran for picking everything up so easily and, most importantly, not getting us lost! Hope to see you again in the future.