Hello, although I have a lot of experience of living in the mountains, I did not need to develop my navigation skills because I knew the area well.
I am looking at the MLS award, however, obviously I need to improve my navigation. Does anybody have any pointers on improving important skill? I have enquired about the NNAS but would like to develop my knowledge before I start.
Thanks again for the replies. I've had my eye on the Peter Cliff book.
In terms of kit, is all I need a map, map holder and compass? Are they fairly standard?
Padstowe, what do you mean by MS? Is it a qualification?
Basic navigation equipment for walkers is a map, preferably an Ordnance Survey Explorer which has a scale of 1:25,000 (4 cm to the kilometre or approx 2.5 inches to the mile), and a baseplate compass (also known as an orientering or a Silva-type compass).There are many kinds of compasses so before you rush out and buy one, I urge you to read at least one of the books I suggested in my previous post so that you have some idea of what you need.Many years ago, the Ramblers Association published Navigation and Leadership; a Manual for Walkers which is still one of the best elementary guides to the subject. It has been updated and revised and can be downloaded free from here.Hugh
A silva 4 compass is all you will need but Cotswold price is OTT.
Ortlieb map cases are recommended.
Maps vary depending on which area they cover !. Suggest 1:25,000 ones.
Also will need lots of practice. As Hugh says , lowland areas are far better for that purpose (forests, moorland).
Lots of YOUTUBE entries such as silva training as well as books.
I've never heard of MS nor have I heard of MLS. I am aware of ML(S) though.
What I don't understand is why you don't go and do the NNAS Bronze Award. Why do you need to develop your knowledge before you start doing the NNAS? The training for the NNAS Bronze Award will give you that knowledge. That's the whole purpose of the course.
Bronze NNAS Award – The Learning Outcomes
I don't know whereabouts you live, but if it's anywhere near the Lake District, then perhaps you should think about going on one of the Map and Compass days that the LDNPA put on. The cost is £8 for a 6 1/2 hour course and it will teach you all of the above skills. See link below for details:
That's helpful and good advice Lorraine.
However, I suspect that the OP (original poster) may, like me, struggle with abbreviations, initials and acronyms so here is a translation:
NNAS National Navigation Award Scheme (I had to look it up)LDNPA Lake District National Park (what is the significance of the final letter?)
I neither recognize nor have been able to trace MS mentioned by Padstowe.
Hugh - the "A" in LDNPA stands for Authority.
The Lake District National Park Authority is a local government organisation which is set up to look after the whole of the National Park, including Planning.
Thank you, Lorraine.
I don't know about Padstowe's MS either! You don't need to have any prior quals to do the ML training, just a load of QMDs (Quality Mountain Days, not WMDs).
It is sensible to get your nav up to scratch before doing the ML training though - you'll get more out of the course. I took the route Lorraine's suggesting, doing the Bronze NNAS and then the Silver training, but not bothering with the assessment for that, and I'd also done Iain Gallagher's OM winter nav course.
No one seems to have mentioned it yet - do what most people do. Pick it up at your own pace -just like any everyday real life skill?
Initially, go out walking regularly with someone who can navigate and is prepared to show you how, and help you get on with it. (Friend or local walking group or OM meet)
If you are not confident alone, maybe spend time at home with maps of areas you know , then go out and relate them to the lay of the land and practice your compass skills (don't just rely on your 'local knowledge'). Then move on to unknown places....
(I taught myself a lot of map interpretation and basic compass skills at home and in my local countryside before I ever went walking in open hills - I wasn't in a position to go, being only 11 yrs old and knowing noone who went walking - until secondary school)
In my experience, some people (for various reasons) do not find it easy, to either put themselves in a formal training situation just like that - or even if they can, pick things up in one or 2 days - either from a book or a course.
I used to map read in the car, aged about 7, I think. I learned the techniques that I now know are called 'thumbing' and 'collecting features'. Thumbing being the same technique as used when you're learning to read; keep track of where you are on the page with your finger... 'Collecting features' being looking at the map and seeing what should be coming up next, and checking that it does...
I'm not sure how much tuition my DofE groups had had in map-reading (it seemed like almost no in-field practice), but, after the first morning, they had picked up enough of the basics that they didn't get too lost. The biggest problem in the first morning was generally excited chattering, rather than concentrating on the navigation task...
The list of topics Lorraine posted looks good, and you can follow it yourself; look at the map, look at the symbol page, and understand what they all mean. Then try to follow (on the map), a route you know well; it might simply be from you home to town. Starting with somewhere you know means that you should already have a good idea of what the real world looks like, and then you're learning how this is represented on the map.
The OS have some useful teaching resources, too, even if they are aimed at children.
There are some better articles that are archived.
Here's another map reding booklet.
There used to be an andvanced booklet:
But this seems to have vanished. Google for the filename might bring up hits.
> There used to be an andvanced booklet:
It's vanished because the beginners' and advanced guides have been merged into the single map reading booklet. I think it's well-written, and is a good primer for map reading and navigation, especially as it's free.
Oh, the acronyms. It's so hard to understand...
Google is your friend. In these cases, it's very friendly, with the first hits being exactly what you're looking for. A different kind of navigation, I suppose...
captain paranoia wrote (see)
Oh, the acronyms. It's so hard to understand...NNASLDNPA Google is your friend. In these cases, it's very friendly, with the first hits being exactly what you're looking for. A different kind of navigation, I suppose...
Great. Why didn't I think of that... now I know all about multiple sclerosis
Metric Kate wrote (see)
Ontario is a vast adventure playground just waiting to be explored and experienced
Minimal & lightweight footwear designed to enhance your outdoors experience
Become a fan of OutdoorsMagic
Follow us on twitter
Sign up to our free newsletter
Meet partners in our forum
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk