/ navigation for dummys

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trimtram - on 20 Nov 2013
i have been asked to help someone learn some navigation skills.
i find the langmuir book hard work, are there any new books that i don't know about, that are worth a look at?
csw on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram:

I'd say forget about using any book - just teach them what you know.
hokkyokusei - on 20 Nov 2013
Si Withington - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram:

Steve Long's 'Hillwalking' is worth a look and covers much more than just nav (value for money!). It's the handbook for the ML scheme.

It really depends on their learning style though - learning navigation from a book is going to be mind-blowing - better to get on the hill and go through stuff with them, step by step at a speed that suits. Or book onto a course with a reputable provider ;)

Good luck with it,

Andy Say - on 20 Nov 2013
martinph78 on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram: I think a "classroom session" before heading out on the hills is well worth it. Maybe print some maps from the web so you can draw on them (taking bearings for example). I'd find it difficult to go through navigating on the hill if they are a complete beginner. Get the theory and basics out of the way before heading out.

It's also worth getting them to fill out a route card before heading out. Get them to write bearings, distances, features and the type of terrain they'd expect to encounter. Something for them to work with when they're on the hill. Don't forget, it's about developing a picture of the landscape, not just taking a bearing on a sheet.

The hillwalking book above is good, but this one is of the same quality and specifically for navigation (it expands on the navigation section in the hillwalking book):

nedmoran on 20 Nov 2013 -
In reply to trimtram: Explain what a map and compass are whilst indoors. Then get outdoors and get them hands on.
Siward on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram:

Martin Moran's "Scotland's Winter Mountains" has a good chapter on navigation and is a fine book to have anyway.
Welsh Kate - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram:
Both Carlo Forte's MLT manual, Navigation in the Mountains, and Lyle Brotherton's Ultimate Navigation Manual are very good, and both include chapters on teaching navigation. I have a marginal preference for Carlo's book but we recommend them both equally to our MR trainees for working on their nav.
alexgoodey on 20 Nov 2013 -
Lots of free stuff here:

Stages of training
1. Talk about what you're going to learn
2. Talk about the topic itself, breaking it into subsections where necessary
3. End each section with a practical exercise using a real-workd example they will already partly understand
5. Review learning

As time progresses, you can steadily increase the amount of nav people undertake directly...

Then bring it all together with a meme, I use the 5 Ds because it works at all skill levels, if you know all of them, at any given time, you will not be lost.
- Distance (how far)
- Direction (which way did you go)
- Duration (how long have you walked since your last known point)
- Detail (what is around you, i.e. contours, woodland, etc)
- Don't go past (what is the natural boundary of your journey stage, i.e. if I walk to Brighton, I have gone too far if I end up in the sea)

The emergency 6th 'D' is Doughnut - it'll give your navigator something nice to think about while they're trying to remember whichever D they've forgotten

Drill into your students that they are not allowed to say 'Are we here', instead tell them to start the sentence 'We are HERE' - it forces them to think!

The NNAS Bronze syllabus is really good.
alexgoodey on 20 Nov 2013 -
and 4. Make it fun and interactive
drolex - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram: I would say that reading a good compass manual is usually enough
jezb1 - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to alexgoodey: Direction should be first "D" I reckon, I use a slightly more simple version of that.
Jane Livingstone - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram:

We often suggest the BMC New Hill Walkers booklet. A good introduction to navigation and using a compass. Free download from the BMC website:
trimtram - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram: thanks for all the replies, there is plenty of stuff there for me now. alex, i liked the D's.
i was going to first explain the information on a maps, especially contours then how to orientate the map with the compass, to show how the compass works a little, anything beyond that needs to be in context it think.
thanks again
flying el burro - on 21 Nov 2013
In reply to trimtram:

I found the BMCs recent nav course (run by Peak Mountaineering) excellent. I picked up loads of stuff I'd not considered before.

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