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Title: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 12:44:35, 14/04/19
When I got to NY 48248 22238 yesterday the magnetic compass insisted I was looking east when I was looking north which confused me for a bit on where to walk until I realised no matter what direction I pointed it in none of the readings were north. I did a few figure of eights with the phone not knowing if this would help calibrate it since the phone wasn't complaining the compass needs calibration.

It's working fine now I just tested it. What could have gone wrong? Has this happened to you?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 12:49:44, 14/04/19
Were you standing still when this happened?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 12:50:50, 14/04/19
Were you standing still when this happened?

I was.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 13:03:16, 14/04/19
Yes, I have had this before. It as if you need to be moving for the GPS system to work out your heading. When you just stand still it bounces about all over the place.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: sussamb on 15:47:50, 14/04/19
My phone doesn't have a compass so I have to be moving for it to work out direction.  If yours has a compass check VR is using it and not its gps for heading.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 17:53:17, 14/04/19

Always take a real compass as backup, Rob.


..although even these can let you down, as I found out to my dismay last year on the mist shrouded summit of Ben Hope - I had kept it in a rucksack pocket alongside keys, whistle - and my mobile phone, which has a magnetic case clasp. Completely demagnetised the compass!
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 17:59:31, 14/04/19
Always take a real compass as backup, Rob.


I know I should and learn how to use a paper map too but ViewRanger is so convenient and easy. I paused at Loughrigg Terrace to listen to instruction a group was receiving on map and compass usage but sadly as I've not used it I haven't retained any of it.


Do own paper OS Maps of the whole Lake District in the waterproof edition but never use them.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 18:16:56, 14/04/19
A map is great, if you know how to read it.  A compass is great, if you know how to use it.


To be honest, it's really easy to learn the basics of navigation but reading books/instructions make it seem WAAAAYYYY more complicated than it is.  I couldn't grasp the concept of map/compass navigation until someone showed me... and I was "huh? is that it?"


The LDNP used to run basic navigation workshops (for a small fee) ... might be worth looking on their website to see if they've any coming up.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 18:36:25, 14/04/19
The LDNP used to run basic navigation workshops (for a small fee) ... might be worth looking on their website to see if they've any coming up.

Yes I'll think about it. Make use of the £50 I spent on maps before I discovered ViewRanger (or this forum). I can use a map in a basic sense by looking at what's on the map and where you are as you pass things, I used to use them to walk around the South Downs when smartphones were new and I didn't own one, but don't know how you locate yourself by reading the compass in relation to landmarks and all that clever stuff.

Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 18:56:39, 14/04/19
Do learn how to use a map and compass Rob. By all means use Viewranger as well, but take your map and visualise where you are on it from time to time, perhaps taking a compass bearing or two as well, especially when leaving a summit. It gives you a much better sense of where you are in the landscape.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Dovegirl on 19:31:57, 14/04/19
Always take a real compass as backup, Rob.

And a backup map too, Rob, whether a paper one or one on another device.
Map-reading is something that comes with practise but it is so worth it. 
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 19:56:45, 14/04/19
And a backup map too, Rob, whether a paper one or one on another device.
Map-reading is something that comes with practise but it is so worth it.

I've been thinking about buying a Garmin GPS as a backup incase my phone dies maybe I'll spend the money that would have cost on a navigation course, probably save a few quid too.

I'm not completely clueless with the map but I'm fairly clueless with the compass, I can use it to work out which way to turn when there's multiple choices that's about it. Using it to get a fairly accurate location is beyond me right now. I did understand when I heard it explained (and saw it demonstrated) to the group I eavesdropped on before joining this forum but never practiced it so it didn't stick.

Just checked the price of navigation courses £240! Maybe I'll just buy the backup GPS and try a few books on navigation out.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: harland on 20:32:29, 14/04/19
Invariably I walk alone by choice but, I know it sounds daft, I think of a map and compass as a friend that I walk with - no I don't talk to it!  Certainly a great comfort (and some pride) that I am able to use them rather than look at a mobile phone - if I had one that was somewhat newer than the one I have that only makes phone calls and texts!
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 20:38:23, 14/04/19

Just checked the price of navigation courses £240! Maybe I'll just buy the backup GPS and try a few books on navigation out.


Rob, whereabouts in the world are you?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 20:42:28, 14/04/19
Rob, I use a dedicated gps unit as my primary navigational tool and a phone with VR as my back up (with my intended route always loaded on both).  I also carry printed A4 sheets of the relevant map in plastic wallets, with my route printed on them, usuallly at 1:12500.   Despite this, I always have a compass and the relevant OS sheet in my pack.  The latter two items have not been used in anger ever since I got a gps with a map display but they are my final recourse.
The OS sheet can be used for a radical replanning of my route if I ever need to and the compass can not only be used to navigate if necessary but also to take bearings on distant feature to identify them.  Once you divert from your intended route a gps or phone is just a moving map display so you will need to map-read to interpret it.  As to the compass, using one isn't rocket science.
Finally remember, ViewRanger is just software - it doesn't know up from down let alone East from West.  I relies on your phone gps and compass (if it has one)or location information.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:45:00, 14/04/19

Rob, whereabouts in the world are you?


Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: sussamb on 20:56:09, 14/04/19
Rob, I use a dedicated gps unit as my primary navigational tool and a phone with VR as my back up (with my intended route always loaded on both).


Me too, haven't carried a paper map for years when out walking, only time I use a paper map is when I'm out with my SAR team.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 21:03:42, 14/04/19

Me too, haven't carried a paper map for years when out walking, only time I use a paper map is when I'm out with my SAR team.

I wouldn't mind a backup though, my phone malfunctioned last year if it had chosen to do that while out walking I'd have to try and retrace my steps back.

Was going to get a backup GPS but a map and compass seem like the ultimate backup plus like Richard said it might give me a better idea of where I am visually though I expect so would using the Skyline feature more often.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 21:33:41, 14/04/19

Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria.


https://thelakedistrictwalker.co.uk/beginners-navigation-course.html/ (https://thelakedistrictwalker.co.uk/beginners-navigation-course.html/)


http://www.distant-horizons.co.uk/outdoor-activities/navigation-training-courses-lake-district (http://www.distant-horizons.co.uk/outdoor-activities/navigation-training-courses-lake-district)


https://www.golakes.co.uk/Langdale-Navigation-Courses/details/?dms=3&feature=1009&venue=5083090 (https://www.golakes.co.uk/Langdale-Navigation-Courses/details/?dms=3&feature=1009&venue=5083090)


There's a few courses ~£50 for the day. I'm sure if you shop around you could get it cheaper still. If you were nearer I'd show you for free but I hardly ever get down to the Lakes these day, and their far too crowded.


If you know how to do it with map and compass it's far easier to understand what the GPS is doing.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 21:48:51, 14/04/19
Actually on Saturday I turned the GPS on and pushed it into the mesh pocket of my rucksack, I didn't really need it I just wanted a GPS trace. Visibility was good and I knew the route. At the end of my walk I went to log my route but found the GPS's battery was flat and the set had switched itself off. Surprisingly when I charged it up it had actually continued to log the whole route.


If it had been bad visibility, I didn't know the route and only had the GPS I would have been stuck. You can buy a lot of maps for the price of a GPS. Map and compass don't need batteries charging they work when ever you need them. I do actually use both, and also have VR on the phone but I still think relying on VR/GPS alone is not wise.     
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 22:05:23, 14/04/19
Actually on Saturday I turned the GPS on and pushed it into the mesh pocket of my rucksack, I didn't really need it I just wanted a GPS trace. Visibility was good and I knew the route. At the end of my walk I went to log my route but found the GPS's battery was flat and the set had switched itself off. Surprisingly when I charged it up it had actually continued to log the whole route.


If it had been bad visibility, I didn't know the route and only had the GPS I would have been stuck. You can buy a lot of maps for the price of a GPS. Map and compass don't need batteries charging they work when ever you need them. I do actually use both, and also have VR on the phone but I still think relying on VR/GPS alone is not wise.   
My gps gives an audible alarm when the battery is dying.  It takes 2 AA batteries that last ages but I carry spares in a ziplock bag.  As part of my prehike check when I load the route I check the state of the batteries using the gps display.  4 bars indicates OK, 3 bars indicates about 4 hours left. I wear it on my chest or shoulder strap attached by a clip and the lanyard provided so I can hear any noises it makes - usually a ping as I approach a way point or a warble if I stray too far off course.  It does not lose the route or track if you change the batteries mid hike.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 22:09:36, 14/04/19

https://thelakedistrictwalker.co.uk/beginners-navigation-course.html/ (https://thelakedistrictwalker.co.uk/beginners-navigation-course.html/)


http://www.distant-horizons.co.uk/outdoor-activities/navigation-training-courses-lake-district (http://www.distant-horizons.co.uk/outdoor-activities/navigation-training-courses-lake-district)


https://www.golakes.co.uk/Langdale-Navigation-Courses/details/?dms=3&feature=1009&venue=5083090 (https://www.golakes.co.uk/Langdale-Navigation-Courses/details/?dms=3&feature=1009&venue=5083090)


There's a few courses ~£50 for the day. I'm sure if you shop around you could get it cheaper still. If you were nearer I'd show you for free but I hardly ever get down to the Lakes these day, and their far too crowded.

Thanks for the links and the thought of showing me even if you're too far away.

I do actually use both, and also have VR on the phone but I still think relying on VR/GPS alone is not wise. 

I've read various arguments about this on the forum and hopefully don't start another. My personal feeling is relying on 1 GPS is unwise even though I do it (but I haven't gone anywhere particularly remote), I'd feel pretty secure if I had a dedicated GPS unit as a backup (chances of both failing are pretty slim) although a map and compass if I knew how to use them "in anger" is a little better as a lifeline.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 22:11:25, 14/04/19
I use VR to track where I'm walking and provide me with a "spot-check" location if I truly don't know where I am. 


I'm sure I've said it before on another topic somewhere but I quite enjoy the "navigation" part of a walk.  Following a route on a GPS or phone app doesn't allow me that pleasure because "IT" tells "ME" where I am and where I need to go.


I think basic map and nav skills are a good thing to have and to practice.  If I'm up on the moors I'll practice a bit of what I learned on the nav practice forum meet - pacing and aiming off - mainly.  I think these two things are more useful to know than working out where you are - in theory, you should already know where you are if you've been following your map, your planned route and paying attention to your surroundings! 
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 22:24:30, 14/04/19
I'm sure I've said it before on another topic somewhere but I quite enjoy the "navigation" part of a walk.  Following a route on a GPS or phone app doesn't allow me that pleasure because "IT" tells "ME" where I am and where I need to go.

See I don't know if I would or not without trying it. I'm quite happy with the sat nav and like knowing precisely where I am, how many metres of ascent there are over the next 100m, etc.

I think basic map and nav skills are a good thing to have and to practice.  If I'm up on the moors I'll practice a bit of what I learned on the nav practice forum meet - pacing and aiming off - mainly.  I think these two things are more useful to know than working out where you are - in theory, you should already know where you are if you've been following your map, your planned route and paying attention to your surroundings! 

You're probably right I don't know anything about those.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 22:25:04, 14/04/19
My gps gives an audible alarm when the battery is dying.  ............ so I can hear any noises it makes - usually a ping as I approach a way point or a warble if I stray too far off course.


I'd have had difficulty hearing a 747 taking off on Saturday.


The last thing I want whilst out walking is some stupid electrical gizmo bleeping at me, I go walking to get away from [censored] like that.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 22:31:08, 14/04/19

I'd have had difficulty hearing a 747 taking off on Saturday.


The last thing I want whilst out walking is some stupid electrical gizmo bleeping at me, I go walking to get away from [censored] like that.
  The noises are optional not obligatory  :) .  I have them on to confirm I have remembered the route correctly so I can enjoy the walk without breaking my rhythm to get my map out, workout where I am only to confirm I was right anyway.  Means I only navigate when I have to - otherwise I just walk.  Each to their own.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 22:33:24, 14/04/19
Looking at owens links the intermediate navigation course offered here:


http://www.morethanmountains.co.uk/course/intermediate-navigation (http://www.morethanmountains.co.uk/course/intermediate-navigation)


Looks the most suitable (I can already do most of the stuff in their beginners course and it's this intermediate course that teaches pacing as Mel just discussed). It's £100 though and I'm worried I'll be too slow for them. I'll seriously consider it. Will ask them about how much ascent how quickly is required. Thanks again Owen.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 22:53:01, 14/04/19
Looking at owens links the intermediate navigation course offered here:


http://www.morethanmountains.co.uk/course/intermediate-navigation (http://www.morethanmountains.co.uk/course/intermediate-navigation)


... I'm worried I'll be too slow for them. I'll seriously consider it. Will ask them about how much ascent how quickly is required. Thanks again Owen.


You'll more likely be doing a lot of standing around working out how many paces to your next destination and then counting them to see if you was right.  As everyone's paces are different there is no "too fast" or "too slow".  You won't be yomping up mountains at breakneck speed, that's for sure. 
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: sussamb on 07:06:06, 15/04/19
Certainly wouldn't recommend relying on one device, but two is more back up than I ever had in the good old days when I relied on one paper map, which could have been blown away, left behind etc  O0
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: motorlaunch on 07:52:13, 15/04/19
Most of us carry a paper map and compass as a backup and they usually resides in your pocket or pack. If you want to become proficient with them, they need to be to hand all the time. Your phone or GPS should be the backup. Spend your money on a good waterproof mapcase, (Ortlieb is my preference) and always have the map open. That way you will develop your navigational skills. Use your GPS only when you have doubts about your position.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 08:35:42, 15/04/19
I'm not completely clueless with the map but I'm fairly clueless with the compass, I can use it to work out which way to turn when there's multiple choices that's about it. Using it to get a fairly accurate location is beyond me right now.



Don't worry about using a compass for finding your location, Rob, that is more into the realms of navigation at sea, and would require good visibility in any case! Compass use on the hill is more about choosing which direction you want to go when the clouds are down.


The secret to successful navigation in my opinion is to always have a feel for where you are on the map. When conditions are good, keep referring to the map to work out where you are from the features that you can see, both near and far. You can use Viewranger to confirm.


You are lucky in the Lakes as there are lots of walls stretching up onto the fell tops, these are very useful in the mist - pick these out on the map, especially where there is a junction of walls - this will give you an accurate 'fix'.


And practice taking bearings with the compass when conditions are good. If you see that the clouds are coming, fix your position on the map and take a bearing before they reach you.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 09:12:23, 15/04/19
Richard has it.  As I have said before, the secret is to navigate constantly. A lot of people walk in what they think is the right direction without really paying attention to the passing landscape then suddenly realise they are not sure where they are. This is compounded by “situating the appreciation” and making the map fit their preconceptions of where they think they might be.  If some of the reports are to be believed, this can include ignoring what their compass is telling them if it does not “fit”.
The secret is never to be lost.  Anticipate what is coming up, particularly in the short term and never pass features without accounting for them, no matter how minor, and especially if they are unexpected. Use your compass to check you are going in the expected direction. Likewise simple stuff like the slope, are you going up down or along as expected?  If things do not fit do not ignore them, stop and sort it rather than pressing on hoping something will turn up.
Modern gadgets such as VR and Garmin make this easy as they show you where you are but you should still map read the screen to see what is coming up. It improves your enjoyment of the route and hones your skills in interpreting the finer nuances of the map which will stand you in good stead in terms of navigating and planning.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 09:50:48, 15/04/19
Thanks guys. I have to admit to finding a paper map and compass a bit like VHS compared to ViewRanger blu ray but appreciate the skills that come with using them. I figured if I do the navigation course I will still probably use ViewRanger as a map since it handily has OS mapping but hit the "locate me" button less often. Then again maybe I'll start recording traces and have to use a paper map. We will see.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 10:16:15, 15/04/19
My recent Stony Cove Pike trip is a good example - I was climbing up the ridge from Caudale Quarry onto the broad expanse of Caudale Moor, I had entered the clouds so was paying close attention, and I noticed that the path started traversing around the side of the plateau rather than head up on to it. Out with the map and compass, and indeed the map did show the path traversing. So I simply used the compass and headed east, no finesse needed here as I was climbing upwards as well - soon enough, I made out the summit cairn a short distance away through the mist.

This gave me a more accurate 'fix' on the map, and I headed slightly south of east, descending slightly and intending to pass to the south of the small tarn marked on the map, and meet a stone wall that I could then follow on to the summit of Stony Cove Pike. This all went to plan - as I have said, walls are a great navigational aid.

From the summit of Stony Cove Pike, I took a quick compass bearing just to check that I wasn't going to do something stupid and head off in the wrong direction (important), and then I simply followed a wall northwards down the ridge towards Hartsop Dodd, until I came out of the clouds, and all was revealed below me.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 10:22:07, 15/04/19
The problem with gps navigation is it is a bit like reading the Telegraph through the letterbox.  That’s why I print off the map of my route on A4 so I can see where I am in relation to the bigger picture.  The added advantage is that I do not have to struggle with a big map, unfolding it, finding myself on it and then stowing it again. A4 folds into 4 to fit in a pocket. If you print on both sides you can fit quite a decent walk ion one sheet. If I have more than one sheet, I keep the in use sheet in one pocket and the rest in my thigh pocket.
Gives you something to use your compass with too.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 11:00:53, 15/04/19

I see Richard.

Ninthace, don't own a printer to print maps with, although if you can print them from the OS mapping website I could print them from the library. What do you print them from?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 11:18:19, 15/04/19
I see Richard.

Ninthace, don't own a printer to print maps with, although if you can print them from the OS mapping website I could print them from the library. What do you print them from?
  Basecamp or the OS web page.  Colour printers aren't that dear, they start at the price of a digital anemometer  :)   https://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-Deskjet-2630-Printer-Instant/dp/B075DTHV7H?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_1 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-Deskjet-2630-Printer-Instant/dp/B075DTHV7H?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_1)   Mine was quite a bit dearer but it comes with refillable ink reservoirs so I save by not buying cartridges.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 11:24:41, 15/04/19
Basecamp or the OS web page.  Colour printers aren't that dear, they start at the price of a digital anemometer  :)


No PC for Basecamp either. I've just discovered PC emulators for Android exist and I have a fairly powerful phone so if I get a Garmin GPS will look into that. My last cheap printer broke. The library is just over half a mile away and colour prints are 20p a page. If it gets annoying maybe I'll get a new printer.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Skip on 12:19:17, 15/04/19
In my experience, a GPS unit can be a boon, a mobile phone rather less so. I view both as adjuncts to, not replacements for, maps and compasses. But whatever technology you use, navigation is an essential mountain skill.

As mountain rescuers regularly advise, phones and GPS units should not be the sole means of navigation.

Here are a few relevant reports:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Mobile-phones-in-the-mountains-a-blessing-or-a-curse (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Mobile-phones-in-the-mountains-a-blessing-or-a-curse)

https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2016/12/19/team-warns-against-using-only-phones-for-navigation-after-bleaklow-rescue (https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2016/12/19/team-warns-against-using-only-phones-for-navigation-after-bleaklow-rescue)

https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2012/08/15/second-police-force-warns-against-reliance-on-smartphones-on-mountains (https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2012/08/15/second-police-force-warns-against-reliance-on-smartphones-on-mountains)

https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2015/05/13/hillwalkers-warned-relying-on-gadgets-could-put-your-life-at-risk (https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2015/05/13/hillwalkers-warned-relying-on-gadgets-could-put-your-life-at-risk)

https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2011/05/22/dont-rely-on-phones-to-find-your-way-on-fells-rescuers-warn (https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2011/05/22/dont-rely-on-phones-to-find-your-way-on-fells-rescuers-warn)

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lake-district-hikers-warned-not-to-rely-on-mobile-phones-to-plot-their-routes-10488883.htm (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lake-district-hikers-warned-not-to-rely-on-mobile-phones-to-plot-their-routes-10488883.htm)l


Below is more generalised advice from the Scottish Mountaineering Council (https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation/electronic-navigation-aids).

Everyone heading into the hills needs to learn how to read a map, and to be able to navigate effectively with a paper map and compass.

Why? Firstly, even if you have a Smartphone or GPS with full detailed OS mapping, it can't read and interpret the map for you! All it can do is show your position - being able to actually interpret the map correctly remains an essential skill.

Heading into the hills means you need to be able to understand from the map what the terrain will be like, choose suitable routes from it and be able to make decisions about changing your route if you need to. For example, in the winter, there may be a dangerous cornice where a summer route runs close to the edge of the cliffs above a corrie; you need to be a skilled navigator here to be able to understand that you may need to take a route further back from the edge than the shown summer route, to avoid the risk of falling through the cornice.

A Smartphone, GPS, or indeed a paper map cannot tell you this - it’s the skills of the map reader that are needed. Plans may also change, the weather may close in, heavy rain might mean that a burn won't be crossable, there may be an accident. So everyone needs to be able to look at the map and work out the best way to adjust any route to deal with changing situations.

Secondly, even if you are a skilled navigator who can read a map well, and are happy using a Smartphone or GPS to navigate, batteries could run down and, although you can carry spares or a charger, there is still a chance your phone or GPS could break or malfunction. So it's essential to at least have a paper map and compass as a reserve.

As mentioned above, even a Smartphone/GPS user navigating effectively should be using their map reading skills at all times. However, if using a Smartphone or GPS as your primary means of navigation, your compass skills could become rusty. If this applies to you, it's a good idea to practice regularly to ensure you can remember how to use a compass effectively if and when the need arises.

Smart phones and GPS are increasing call-outs as more walkers get lost. Why is this?

The root cause of getting lost is usually a lack of adequate navigation skills, no matter what technology is being used. In many cases, walkers do not have the skills to read a map or navigate effectively. Some mistakenly think that carrying a Smartphone or GPS means that they do not need these skills, which is a recipe for disaster, for all the reasons given above. But every hill and mountain walker needs to learn how to interpret a map, and to navigate effectively using a map and compass, including in poor visibility.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 12:42:43, 15/04/19
Yes I've read about people relying on GPS units calling out mountain rescue and aware of the opinion of those mountain rescuers but they're generally doing something like using Google Maps not ViewRanger or like another of your links had a GPS location but couldn't use it to locate themselves on the map. I know what I'm looking at on the map (and could locate myself on a paper OS Map using a national grid GPS location) I don't think GPS is the problem it's not knowing how to use it.

I do appreciate old school navigational skills should give you a better awareness of your surroundings though.

Oh dear I started another GPS bashing thread this has drifted from my compass misbehaving.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 12:55:53, 15/04/19
In summary (but not always) the smarter the phone - the dumber the user?
I would argue that navigation by gps/gps app is a skill set in itself.  If you are going to use gps in any form you need all the normal range of map reading skills, plus good planning skills plus the technological savvy to get the best out of the infomation available on line - witness my recent conversation with Rob comparing the information available from GoogleEarth, ViewRanger and the OS mapping site.  This is not appreciated by Joe or Josephine Public when they set off armed with a phone and Google maps and that is why gps and phones get a bad rap.
Do any of the reports recommend carrying a spare map when the one you have blows away, gets lost because it is not strapped on or gets ripped to shreds or to soggy to use (yes I know about laminated maps but they are not universally available or used)?  Or a spare compass for when yours gets dropped, lost or sat on?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 18:06:39, 15/04/19

Some sound advice from the SMC there, Skip.


Heading into the hills means you need to be able to understand from the map what the terrain will be like, choose suitable routes from it and be able to make decisions about changing your route if you need to. For example, in the winter, there may be a dangerous cornice where a summer route runs close to the edge of the cliffs above a corrie; you need to be a skilled navigator here to be able to understand that you may need to take a route further back from the edge than the shown summer route, to avoid the risk of falling through the cornice.


This paragraph is particularly relevant - say someone is following their phone along a high ridge and the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse, or one of their party starts to become hypothermic, and they need to get down quickly. The pre-plotted route on Viewranger isn't going to be able to help much with that.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 18:11:38, 15/04/19
Do any of the reports recommend carrying a spare map when the one you have blows away, gets lost because it is not strapped on or gets ripped to shreds or to soggy to use (yes I know about laminated maps but they are not universally available or used)?  Or a spare compass for when yours gets dropped, lost or sat on?



Interesting point, ninthace. After my compass became demagnetised on top of a misty Ben Hope, I am considering getting one of those tiny button compasses as a spare. Of course my phone also has a compass - but I don't want to rely upon that as tests at home have not been reassuring!


As for losing a map - I am an avid studier of maps, and my memory would be adequate backup in all but the most complex of terrain.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 18:51:52, 15/04/19
Some sound advice from the SMC there, Skip.

This paragraph is particularly relevant - say someone is following their phone along a high ridge and the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse, or one of their party starts to become hypothermic, and they need to get down quickly. The pre-plotted route on Viewranger isn't going to be able to help much with that.

True but ViewRanger is still a fully functional OS map. I can navigate without a pre-plotted route it's just helpful.

Admittedly, there's room for improvement and I probably will do the intermediate course but I wonder if I'll walk away with the knowledge necessary to judge there might be cornice on my route, it says skilled navigator not intermediate. And it's £100 - that's quite a lot of money to me.

I can already read a map better than some people I know who've been flying up loads of wainwrights and visited the Scottish Highlands (using ViewRanger) and they explain to me contour lines but don't themselves know the numbering reads uphill. Doubt I can navigate as well as them but as I continue exploring I'm learning.

I don't go anywhere without first checking with this forum and looking around in map, satellite and now 3D imagery. The chances of me rocking up somewhere unsuitable for my skill are low I feel.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 19:09:35, 15/04/19
True but ViewRanger is still a fully functional OS map. I can navigate without a pre-plotted route it's just helpful.



True, but how big is your screen? I would imagine that it would be difficult to see the bigger picture on a phone screen.


I would just practice with the map and compass when you are out using Viewranger, Rob; you'll soon pick it up.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 19:32:08, 15/04/19
I have found that one of the advantages of gps assisted navigation is knowing where you are when snowfall has radically affected the landscape. The screen still shows the underlying terrain.  An example, I was once walking down hill looking for a track cut into the side of the hill. Snow fall had filled in the track so the downslope was continuous and there was no sign of the track but I was able to locate the line of the track to make my turn which lead me to the right route off the mountain.
Being able to see an enlarged picture of the map can be helpful in finding the right way through in some situations  - provided the map is right of course.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 19:34:31, 15/04/19
I would just practice with the map and compass when you are out using Viewranger, Rob; you'll soon pick it up.

Got any recommended reading? Mel said she found it difficult to pick up from books who over-complicated it and much easier to learn in person but if I can save £90 I'm willing to attempt more difficult first.

First hit on Google is the Ultimate Navigation Manual by Lyle Brotherton. The synopsis looks promising. Anyone familiar with it?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 19:46:50, 15/04/19
I'll let you guys know how it is, I've ordered it.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Bigfoot_Mike on 19:59:37, 15/04/19
Rob, this link provides some basics along with a few videos.


https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation/planning-and-following-a-route (https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation/planning-and-following-a-route)




Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 21:03:23, 15/04/19
Good link, thanks. Wonder what extra information the book I ordered has.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 22:27:33, 15/04/19
Probably nothing.  Cancel your order.



Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 22:32:20, 15/04/19
Probably nothing.  Cancel your order.


I probably should but it says it has twenty something skills in and novel relocation techniques. Stuff I don't need to know? Maybe but I'm still curious.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 22:38:44, 15/04/19
Fair enough.  I'm not a fan of Lyle Brotherton after his guff information about dialling 112 giving you preferential treatment over dialling 999.


(there was a topic on this forum about it some time ago).



Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 22:46:41, 15/04/19
Fair enough.  I'm not a fan of Lyle Brotherton after his guff information about dialling 112 giving you preferential treatment over dialling 999.


(there was a topic on this forum about it some time ago).

Oh dear I didn't know he was a hokum peddler. Maybe his novel techniques are novel tech-nots. I'm still going to get the book but I'll be skeptical about it now.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 00:10:28, 16/04/19
Oh dear I didn't know he was a hokum peddler. Maybe his novel techniques are novel tech-nots. I'm still going to get the book but I'll be skeptical about it now.
  A least you will have one novel to relocate - hope there is room on your shelf  :)   Make sure the book includes the pack of cards trick for locating yourself when lost.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 07:20:32, 16/04/19
Rob, this link provides some basics along with a few videos.

https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation/planning-and-following-a-route (https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation/planning-and-following-a-route)

Good link - sound advice presented in a simple form.

Just practice, Rob; the more that you do, the more comfortable with a map you will become - and you've always got Viewranger as your backup.

EDIT - the book looks rather complex for a beginner, but appears to be well reviewed.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: fernman on 09:09:05, 16/04/19
I was given the book a couple of Christmases ago. The basics are in it but what it sets out to be is the most complete and comprehensive manual possible on the subject, consequently 90% of the contents are stuff I would never use. It's now gathering dust on a bookshelf, can't give it to a charity shop just yet in case the giver notices it's not there.

I must add that I've only just read this thread, I didn't bother when it first appeared because the header "wasn't me". But the four pages have turned out to be one of the most interesting, and sensible too, reads I've seen on the forum for some time.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 11:04:32, 16/04/19
I was given the book a couple of Christmases ago. The basics are in it but what it sets out to be is the most complete and comprehensive manual possible on the subject, consequently 90% of the contents are stuff I would never use. It's now gathering dust on a bookshelf, can't give it to a charity shop just yet in case the giver notices it's not there.

I just attempted to cancel my order on Amazon after reading this but I now wonder if I should have, does it contain anything useful Bigfoot_Mike's mountaineering Scotland link doesn't?

My attempt to cancel failed so unless I reject it for better or worse the book's arriving.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: fernman on 13:32:39, 16/04/19
You can refuse to accept it when the postie delivers it, and then it will be returned to sender.
Meanwhile, you grovel to the seller and ask for a refund.

It worked for me three weeks ago when I ordered a wrong item by mistake. There were just five minutes between me asking to cancel and the 'your item has been dispatched' email. Then I sent a message on Amazon to the seller and it was he who advised me to refuse it.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: phil1960 on 15:30:10, 16/04/19
https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/top-tips-for-map-reading/ (https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/top-tips-for-map-reading/)
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 16:55:14, 16/04/19
https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/top-tips-for-map-reading/ (https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/top-tips-for-map-reading/)

Thanks. This seems useful but I don't understand it:

https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/advanced-contours-and-relief/ (https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/advanced-contours-and-relief/)

Section "Using contour lines for navigation"

I don't understand about "direction the slope is facing".  I expect it's in the book I ordered and I'll have a look for a video but if anyone knows of a video demonstrating reading slope aspect that would be handy.

Also, what's a back bearing?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: richardh1905 on 17:32:57, 16/04/19
Thanks. This seems useful but I don't understand it:

https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/advanced-contours-and-relief/ (https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/advanced-contours-and-relief/)

Section "Using contour lines for navigation"

I don't understand about "direction the slope is facing".  I expect it's in the book I ordered and I'll have a look for a video but if anyone knows of a video demonstrating reading slope aspect that would be handy.

Also, what's a back bearing?



I had a read of the link, possibly a useful technique if you are lost. Direction that the slope is dropping or descending would be a better choice of words, perhaps. Just face downhill. I've never had to do this.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 17:43:45, 16/04/19
Stand on the slope and face directly downhill, that's the direction the slope is facing. If you take a bearing of the direction you're facing you can use that to find your location as long as it's not a long straight hill.
As long as you're on a rounded hillside if you find the point where your bearing matches the slope on the contour lines you are somewhere on that line.
A back bearing is the reverse of a bearing i.e the bearing of where you've just come from. Easiest way to find it is to read it off the back of the compass. Opposite where you normally read the bearing. You should adjust it for magnetic north but as the difference at the moment is so small it's not worth bothering about.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 17:50:32, 16/04/19

 I've never had to do this.


It's more of a skiers thing, because we zigzag about so much it's easy to loose track of whereabouts you are on a slope.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 17:53:00, 16/04/19

I had a read of the link, possibly a useful technique if you are lost. Direction that the slope is dropping or descending would be a better choice of words, perhaps. Just face downhill. I've never had to do this.

Thanks. I liked the idea of being able to precisely locate yourself using nothing but the contour lines but if it's really more for skiers I guess I'll wait and see how my other skills go before practicing it.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 17:55:00, 16/04/19
Thanks Owen that makes sense.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Owen on 18:27:33, 16/04/19
Don't dismiss it it's a handy technic to know.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Skip on 14:49:59, 17/04/19
Don't dismiss it it's a handy technic to know.
Absolutely agree - slope aspect can be an important aid to locating a position.More generally, interpreting contours is a fundamental skill.


@ Rob (and anyone else who wants to learn the basics of nav). There is a wealth of online training information about navigation available free of charge.

Start with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland
https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation (https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/navigation)


Then study the well-known 'Navigators Dozen' from WalkHighlands
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/safety/navigators-dozen.shtml (https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/safety/navigators-dozen.shtml)


Or the dozen in simplified DofE format
http://www.meadowsdofe.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/navigators-dozen.pdf (http://www.meadowsdofe.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/navigators-dozen.pdf)


IMO, if you study, practice and master the 'Navigators Dozen', you will be able to effectively navigate in Britain's Hills.


Finally, here is specific instruction on using a compass from The Ramblers
https://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/navigation/using-a-compass.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjfqwxaDX4QIVkhrTCh1OiQqmEAAYAiAAEgIVzvD_BwE (https://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/navigation/using-a-compass.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjfqwxaDX4QIVkhrTCh1OiQqmEAAYAiAAEgIVzvD_BwE)
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 15:01:49, 17/04/19
Absolutely agree - slope aspect can be an important aid to locating a position.More generally, interpreting contours is a fundamental skill.

I was hoping I'd learn to visualise contours by practicing nav skills, I mean I know what they are and the obvious such as closer together they are the steeper it is and a few of the features they form but I still would like to better "see the hill" without having to resort to a 3D fly through in ViewRanger.

My compass, nav book, waterproof pen and waterproof notebook are all waiting at the post office for me to pick them up. In fact I'll go do that and print off some smaller maps at the library.

Thanks for the links skip.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Skip on 16:08:37, 17/04/19
I was hoping I'd learn to visualise contours by practicing nav skills ...
That is exactly how you will learn, Rob. 'Practice' is the key word there. Go out to a known point, set your map (see below) then look at the landscape in front of you and relate it to the contours on the map.

I'd be the first to concede it's not the easiest skill to master (in fact, I still find it takes concentration) but it's well worth it.

PS this may be helpful: "Setting the map is the technique of positioning the map so that all the features are lined up with your own location as the central point. What is in front of you on the ground will be in front of you on the map, what is to your left on the ground will also be to your left on the map and so on. The writing on the map may be upside down or sideways but this is OK - having the map set is far more useful in relating the map to the ground than being able to read the writing."
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 14:18:55, 22/04/19
OK I'm trying to move this navigation chat out of the awning :)

After reading bits here there and everywhere I've decided to try to learn from the book I bought, the Ultimate Navigation Manual. I started reading it and it promises me that it will take me from newbie to expert if I read it in sequence teaching me something called micro navigation rather than orienteering. This may be sales puff but if it can do it I'm pleased. I think probably the book combined with the videos you have posted links to when the book gets to those sections may be the way to go.

But I have a question the book can't answer. The book says don't go somewhere unknown and practice these techniques but practice them somewhere known. I don't really know anywhere as I've made a point of visiting each location in Cumbria just once as there's just so much to explore. Is this advice about learning the techniques or safety? I'm guessing safety as navigation courses would take me somewhere unknown to practice. If it's safety I'll choose to bend this rule a bit as I have GPS that should be able to stop me getting lost (it's worked so far). But I wanted to confirm this.

Where did ninthace say was a good place to practice navigation? I can't find it in this thread (here's hoping the man himself reads this, he can regale me with today's tale teased about on the awning).

Thanks
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 14:39:04, 22/04/19
I think I can already see what fernman meant about not using most of this stuff, I don't need to predict wind speed from isobar there's a forecast for that and I doubt I'll need to work out directions from the prevailing wind but I'll persist with the book as it's easy to understand so far. There are probably better choices of book though.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 15:14:37, 22/04/19
So that's where you went.  I think the navex you refer too may have been this one http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=1646 (http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=1646) which has a long leg on a compass bearing in fairly open country with the aim of hitting the Pennine Way at a specific point.


Now as to my tale of "derring do".  You will remember I advocated always having a map with you "just in case"?  Well this morning we parked the car next to a pub in a village not far from Exmoor with the intention of doing a 15 km circuit up on to the moor and back in time for beer o'clock and a bite of lunch.  All went well for the first 6km or so which involved a fair bit of up and down, the odd stream crossing and some fairly rough going, leavened I might say by spotting a herd of 20+ deer on the skyline on the way.  We had just got to some flatter stuff and upped the pace a bit when the calf problem I had had on the last walk reasserted itself with a vengeance.  Walking was painful but not impossible so we decided to cut the walk short. Needless to say this involved an abrupt departure from the prepared route loaded into VR and the Garmin.
Now here is the brief young Rob.  Work out a route from your current position avoiding rough country and steep gradients that will get you back to the car in the minimum time without damaging the affected limb any more than you have to.  And that my Padawan is why you carry a map and learn how to read it and extract every nuance from it. 
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 16:23:32, 22/04/19
I've just got to the compass section of the nav book but I've had enough reading for now. I learnt a little bit about contours, and surprised myself by being better at visualising features than I realised. I haven't practiced terrain association though and I'm still not that great at visualising slope angle though though I get the gist of it. I'm also still a bit confused about slope aspect, this has now been explained to me in several different ways by different sources, I seem to remember almost getting it when Owen on here explained it, I'll have to dig through and find his description again. Learned a little about mapping systems but I already knew most of it. It's a good book so far though it started off with things I thought were pretty pointless like navigating by aircraft trails. I'll have to see how the compass section goes next.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 16:44:54, 22/04/19
Your nav practice trace looks like it would take a while. I expect once I'm done reading this book I'll just take the map and compass with me on my normal walks and try to leave ViewRanger in my pocket, it will beep at me anyway if I lose track. This navigation practice is going to have an adverse effect on my trip times though, I'll have to select shorter routes.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 17:13:21, 22/04/19
Aircraft trails eh?  I hadn’t thought about them but yes I have used them without really thinking about it.  Airliners fly on fixed routes leaving a contrail.  There is a major airway up the spine of the UK for example so if you are out and it is a contrail day they will give you an orientation.  Have a look at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a8CQ29yWvZI (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a8CQ29yWvZI).  and you can see the aircraft streams.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 17:22:27, 22/04/19
By the way Rob, if you have a analogue watch you can find N without a compass https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BoKQMwUx2gA (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BoKQMwUx2gA)
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 18:40:51, 22/04/19
By the way Rob, if you have a analogue watch you can find N without a compass https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BoKQMwUx2gA (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BoKQMwUx2gA)

I haven't watched the video yet but I've read about it in my book, you can do it if you have a digital watch too - just draw an analog clock! So far I've learned you can maintain a bearing using the position of the sun for 10 minutes and know the cardinals by knowing the bearing of the sun by looking them up before you go. Also how to locste north using Polaris , the Big Dipper and the Queen (I skipped the southern hemisphere bit as surplus to requirements and Orion as being too complicated to identify when I don't need to). I'll probably never do this other than for fun but I read the book in order like it said. Just arrived at lesson plans for using the compass (the previous compass bit just taught you about the compass) so will soon know how good the book is for the main reason I bought it. Just over 1/4 of the way through the book. I can see once more why fernman says it contains much much you don't need to know but it's been good at explaining so far - slope aspect being the only thing that I didn't grok.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 19:50:16, 22/04/19
Now we know why magnetic N is on the move.
https://www.newsweek.com/earth-magnetic-field-strange-geomagnetic-jerks-explained-1400083
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0355-1 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0355-1)
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:10:19, 22/04/19
Now we know why magnetic N is on the move.
https://www.newsweek.com/earth-magnetic-field-strange-geomagnetic-jerks-explained-1400083
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0355-1 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0355-1)

Got the gist of it but don't fully understand the nature of the hydromagnetic waves. The more I read about them the more I had to read to understand what I'd just read.

Luckily the book isn't like that it even had a section on slope aspect so I know now what it is and (in theory) how to locate myself using just the contour lines. It's a good book I'm glad I didn't send it back even if there is stuff in there that I'll probably never use.

Theory is one thing though I've yet to practice this stuff...
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 21:25:20, 22/04/19
I read on another forum Loughrigg is a good place to practice navigation. I've checked those steps out I shied away from before and while steep, they only go on for 150 metres of ascent. Maybe it's time to go back to Loughrigg? I was thinking leave the car in Grasmere, catching the bus to White Moss Common and walking over Loughrigg to Ambleside then catching the bus back to Grasmere. Thoughts? WalkLakes warns "Loughrigg Fell is not a place to be in caught mist or poor visibility without good navigation skills." so maybe I should pick somewhere easier to practice the more basic nav skills and come back to Loughrigg to practice the advanced ones. Can anyone who's still interested in this thread think of a lowland area in the Lakes that would be good to practice basic nav skills?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 22:16:03, 22/04/19
Try this one on Loughrigg.  It is all on paths but same take some finding.
http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=2211 (http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=2211)
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 22:47:48, 22/04/19
Try these. They are outside the Lakes and not too taxing but require some navigating.  This first one takes in a hill that looks like a small table mountain. Starts easily enough as far as the top of the hill then you will need to route find back to the track across the head of the reservoir. The last bit is on lanes.
http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=1838
This one is entirely off piste visiting old mine workings but is only 6 km http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=2132
Another short one. Only 9 km. A bit on the PW.
http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=2151

They all fairly close to Appleby.


   
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 22:53:52, 22/04/19
By my reckoning that route will take me between 6 and a half and 9 hours depending on if I perform more like Loadpot Hill or more like Holme Fell. That's without faffing about with a map and compass. I'll think about it.

For my first day of practice I'm not even supposed to use a compass, I'm supposed to practice:

Orient your map
Brace Position
Attack Point
Handrail
Collecting Features
Thumb the Map

Which I've already done Handrail and Collecting Features intuitively just by using printouts of maps in the past and it being the obvious way to use them. But I'll do this course properly and attempt to do it as suggested.

Not sure if Loughrigg is the right place to practice day 1 as I'd need to use the GPS while practicing those skills but maybe it would work that way.

Needs thought since I think I've bored the forum with nav questions. I might not be a doctor but I'm not stupid - with an IQ supposedly of the 97th percentile I should be able to figure this out.

And if not I can go bore another forum with my questions  ;D

While I was writing that you posted some more routes. Thanks. I will need to buy an additional 2 maps (OS map sheet finder is horrid) to try those. Have now bought said maps, waiting for them to arrive.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 13:45:17, 23/04/19
You should already have the map for this one that I came across while house keeping my route files today: https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/1911183/160321-Naddle-Horseshoe (https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/1911183/160321-Naddle-Horseshoe)
It is a sort of point to point picking off a succession of little hills east of Haweswater.  Not too much contour cutting though once you are up there.  Took me 3:30hr in March '16 but I wasn't pushing - it is a tad over 12km.
PS - it is not in haroldstreet as there was a longer but very similar walk already there - search "Naddle Horseshoe"
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 14:21:51, 23/04/19
Thanks ninthace. I might wait for the new maps to arrive so I can do the short routes incase I want to wander about, etc. According to my book municipal parks are an ideal place to practice navigation but I don't have one of those handy. Maybe there's one in Carlisle? I'll look. I'm just hoping there's things to take bearings off around on your routes as I don't know what to expect when I turn up and I'm guessing you can take bearings from contour features but I was hoping for obvious things on the map like spot or linear features while I practice the techniques themselves. Maybe I should dive in head first and use it on a real route though, I'm still not sure.

Anyway I just measured my pace and timing using a GPS trace as I don't have a 100m measure. Do you think 325 metres is a long enough sample taking GPS error into consideration? The trace looks pretty accurate. If it is my pace count is 154 (or 77 double steps - knew I took short steps) and my speed 3.5km/h (2.2 mph).

I'll have to calculate my own personal ascent modifier as something tells me 1 minute per 10 metres isn't going to work.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 16:17:27, 23/04/19
Anyway I just measured my pace and timing using a GPS trace as I don't have a 100m measure. Do you think 325 metres is a long enough sample taking GPS error into consideration? The trace looks pretty accurate. If it is my pace count is 154 (or 77 double steps - knew I took short steps) and my speed 3.5km/h (2.2 mph).

I'll have to calculate my own personal ascent modifier as something tells me 1 minute per 10 metres isn't going to work.


'dems some mighty long steps 325/154 = ?m
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 16:22:09, 23/04/19

'dems some mighty long steps 325/154 = ?m

Oh I thought pace counts were standard at 100 metres. That's steps per 100m (I counted 500 steps and took a trace (500/325)*100).
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 16:29:20, 23/04/19
Oh I thought pace counts were standard at 100 metres. That's steps per 100m (I counted 500 steps and took a trace (500/325)*100).


Sorry, I took your count verbatim,  154 per 100m sounds reasonable.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 17:11:58, 23/04/19
I've decided when my Howgills map arrives I'm just going to wander around the fields along the Dales High Way which passes near my flat (assuming I can, never walked that way before) and practice navigating there. Hopefully they're not full of cows. Hopefully this is a good plan too - I'll have a better idea of what's a good place to practice this stuff after attempting to practice it or so my thinking goes. Then when I'm confident with the techniques I'll go try your mine workings route if it's not boggy? I'll take my stove too.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 17:31:31, 23/04/19
If you want a big open area to play with try Great Asby Scar NE of Orton - a mixture of grassland and limestone pavement.  Also, just a little more to the west there is the open ground to the SW of Crosby Ravensworth.  If you need tracks to follow, have a look a haroldstreet - I have left plenty of traces across them.  By the by, do try Smardale.  Leave all your gear behind and just go for a walk along the old railway track through the nature reserve and across the viaduct.  The C2C crosses it by Jackdaw House (you won't find it on the map but you will know it when you see it).  Park NY 73935 08226
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:56:54, 23/04/19
I've now read all the techniques section of the manual and there's quite a bit to practice. I will have to read it again as I practice. Don't think doing it in town wouldn't be ideal but I'm of the opinion it could be practiced almost anywhere now I've got a fair idea of what I'm going to be doing. I think having more linear features present is a bonus, the streams on ninthace's suggested off-piste nav practice route would work.

Skipped the sections on specialist environments and satnavs as I won't be going there and know enough (though not quite as much as the book author - I skimmed a bit) about those already.

The proof is in the pudding. Will it turn me into a competent navigator having read it? I think it will. Will report back my success/failure with it.

As for how much this is going to improve my navigation with a sat nav aid (as I think I will return to that once comfortable without it) I doubt a great deal though knowing boxing techniques would have been handy on Holme Fell. Still I could be wrong, and if I can get in the right frame of mind it might even be fun.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 23:40:54, 23/04/19
Your route named Lunedale head ninthace, I notice your trace passes through an area marked marsh on the map. Is it going to be boggy? I don't have gaiters!
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 23:47:49, 23/04/19
Your route named Lunedale head ninthace, I notice your trace passes through an area marked marsh on the map. Is it going to be boggy? I don't have gaiters!
Don't believe everything you read.  It just means there are bogs about, not that there is bog under every marsh symbol. That is a “live” trace which means that is where I actually went. I don’t walk through bogs, I go round them or find a safe way through them.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 23:55:41, 23/04/19
Don't believe everything you read.  It just means there are bogs about, not that there is bog under every marsh symbol. That is a “live” trace which means that is where I actually went. I don’t walk through bogs, I go round them or find a safe way through them.

Good to know. I've never walked across a marsh symbol before. I'm not sure where to visit first Scordale or Lunedale Head. Probably Lunedale Head on account of my expection there isn't much in the way of features to practice taking bearings from by Scordale as it's in a valley but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 00:28:51, 25/04/19
Rob, just had thought.  You were looking for a park to practice in.  There is a good one just across Franks Bridge south of the Market Place in Kirkby Stephen.  The C2C goes across the E side of it but it extends a long way W to the ex railway.  Has plenty of features.
Edited, had the map upside down in my head
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 06:15:25, 25/04/19
Rob, just had thought.  You were looking for a park to practice in.  There is a good one just across Franks Bridge south of the Market Place in Kirkby Stephen.

Good to know, thanks.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 15:19:52, 25/04/19
My OS maps arrived. After much fussing folding it I ended up tearing the cover off, not happy they have covers as I now have a damaged map but it wasn't practical to keep it on there. I've decided to practice my nav skills in the Kirkby Stephen park tomorrow. Thanks for suggesting it ninthace I'll let you know how it goes.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: pdstsp on 20:11:04, 25/04/19
My OS maps arrived. After much fussing folding it I ended up tearing the cover off, not happy they have covers as I now have a damaged map but it wasn't practical to keep it on there. I've decided to practice my nav skills in the Kirkby Stephen park tomorrow. Thanks for suggesting it ninthace I'll let you know how it goes.


So why not cut the cover off without damaging the map?
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:15:57, 25/04/19

So why not cut the cover off without damaging the map?

It pulled off fine I just regard the map as damaged because it now has no cover, it's not the complete unit I purchased. It came away cleaner by pulling it off by the corner than cutting it would have - they probably made it that way with being able to remove it in mind. Sorry for the confusion.

Edit: Changed the grammar.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: ninthace on 20:21:40, 25/04/19
It pulled off fine I just regard the map as damaged because it's now got no cover, it's not the complete unit I purchased. It came away cleaner by pulling it off by the corner than cutting it would have - they probably made it that way with being able to remove it in mind. Sorry for the confusion.
  Save the cover.  When you have finished with the map put it back in the cover and slip it into the bookshelf - makes it easier to find and file your maps, especially when you end up with a shelf full - as you will.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:38:04, 25/04/19
Another good tip. Thanks.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 20:53:41, 25/04/19
I take the covers off my maps AND I don’t stick to the fold lines when folding it to fit in my map case.[/font]
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:58:33, 25/04/19
I take the covers off my maps AND I don’t stick to the fold lines when folding it to fit in my map case.[/font]

 :o Vandal!
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 21:02:46, 25/04/19
 :)  It stops the fold lines becoming worn and unreadable  O0
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 21:09:27, 25/04/19
Good tip Mel. Thanks. I wonder if the laminated maps I have will suffer so much at the fold lines? I just can't bring myself to put creases in my precious map yet.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: pdstsp on 23:23:10, 25/04/19
I have precisely no maps with covers.  I have a small box in the boot of my car from which I painfully extract the relevant maps when I set off on a walk. It takes about 12 seconds. It's really not worth worrying about.  Folding maps is necessary, unless you photocopy or print the bits you need, and leave the original map at home.
Title: Re: Magnetic compass on Viewranger behaving strangely
Post by: Mel on 23:32:42, 25/04/19
Good tip Mel. Thanks. I wonder if the laminated maps I have will suffer so much at the fold lines? I just can't bring myself to put creases in my precious map yet.


Don't worry.  You'll soon overcome that and see creased, stained, and generally dog-eared maps as a thing of beauty and wonderful memories  O0