Author Topic: Overweight hiker navigation thread  (Read 3465 times)

Mel

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #15 on: 11:08:30, 27/04/19 »
I think the field is a grand place to learn the techniques.  Then you practice on walks.   :)
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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #16 on: 11:25:56, 27/04/19 »
archaeoroutes, I don't know how I missed your post.

I've already got some experience relating the map to the ground because I've still been using maps to navigate, albeit digital ones. I can visualise some contour features such as hills and valleys, ridges, saddles, a rough idea of slope gradient (gentle, medium or steep).

I did practice orienting the map from the compass yesterday quite a bit.

I don't know how good most people are with visualising from the map but I suspect I'm ready to play with bearings.

I'm sure the hills are good practice too but I think my "learning field" as Mel called it is a good place to drill the techniques, then I can use them "in anger" on the hills when I remember them all. It would be different perhaps if someone was showing me by doing in the hills.

Time will tell!

Thanks ninthace I'll take all that under advisement and consider the Smardale walk. I'm not sure how good my contour reading is, I'm OK with contour features I think but am not so great at judging slope angles beyond gentle, medium and steep. I can't exactly "see the slopes" but I know roughly how steep they'll be.

Mel I didn't realise the semantic difference.

Mike thanks for the link I'll take a look now.
« Last Edit: 11:37:33, 27/04/19 by Rob Goes Walking »

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #17 on: 14:37:35, 27/04/19 »
Boxing on Holme Fell would probably get you into more trouble in that kind of terrain (bog, slope, rocks and bracken).

Just a question about this, when I thought it was suitable I was thinking of using a stepped box as opposed to a pure box, still a bad idea?

ninthace

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #18 on: 15:31:26, 27/04/19 »
Just a question about this, when I thought it was suitable I was thinking of using a stepped box as opposed to a pure box, still a bad idea?
   I am assuming you are referring to the area of bog where you were trying to find the path behind the crag line?
Hard to say, I wasn't there on that day and didn't see the conditions, but I have been there in the past so I know the sort of terrain. You were there - you saw the vegetation, bogs and rocks up there - what's your opinion? Would it be practicable?  Could you see the line further on?  These all have a bearing on your decision.
The answer often varies with time of year too - at present the bracken has died back, you may be able to go off line without too much trouble, later it could be waist deep.
TBH, if there was evidence of a path going on an alternative line I may do what you did and take my chances on the scramble.  The more worn the track, the more popular the route.


In reality, these days if I was determined to take that route and if it was possible I would have gone off piste to work my way round and then used my gps to regain the line.  A lot less complicated  :)
In the old days I suspect I would have been too idle to box it and would done much the same thing and then used my compass and map to cut the line of the path at an oblique angle, provided I was sure there was a path to cut.  It is quite a confined area with good features so finding my way back to a known point shouldn't be too hard if I couldn't get round.
 

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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #19 on: 15:41:14, 27/04/19 »
Thanks ninthace. Unfortunately I can't remember what I saw on the ground that caused me to go along the obvious path again. Maybe I'll go back someday and try and find the route!

archaeoroutes

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #20 on: 17:05:24, 27/04/19 »
Boxing is only really needed when visibility and/or ground mean you have to be spot on all the time.
So, I'm pacing a bearing for a kilometre in a white-out on a plateau and meet a rocky outcrop blocking my path. So as not to lose my bearing or pacing, I set the needle on east, pace 50, set it in north, pace 50, set it on west, pace 50, set it on north and resume my main pacing 50 paces on.

For avoiding a large area, it's easier to do normal bearings, just with intermediate points .
I'm walking on Dartmoor in the fog. I can see on the map there is a bog on the direct line between where I am and where I want to go. So I plot a bearing/pacing to something off to one side (perhaps even an imaginary point on the map) then when I'm there plot the leg to my destination. For some instances there could be two intermediate points.

Of course, all this assumes a lack of features that can be used for navigation. If possible I'd choose a route like turn right and follow the ridge to where it flattens into a shelf, walk on a bearing of x until I meet the stream, turn left and walk down the stream to where it gets steep, turn right and I am back on track.
« Last Edit: 17:31:03, 27/04/19 by archaeoroutes »
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ninthace

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #21 on: 17:14:10, 27/04/19 »
And it boxing would be a sod of a technique in some of the forests I've been in  :)

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Ridge

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #22 on: 17:18:49, 27/04/19 »
And it boxing would be a sod of a technique in some of the forests I've been in  :)
I think a lot of navigation techniques work on the principal that you are in a big flat open field but with no visibility. I understand why this is the case.
Most of the time in real life we end up using a combination of navigation to know where you are and where you should go.
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

ninthace

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #23 on: 17:20:51, 27/04/19 »
Aircraft navigation is worse.  By the time you work out where you are, you aren't there anymore.
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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #24 on: 17:49:30, 27/04/19 »
Thank you archaeoroutes and Ridge. I'll get the hang of what to use where I expect when I plot a few real routes and try to follow them!

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #25 on: 14:32:12, 30/04/19 »
I suspect once you will get some benefit from your field but not a lot.  Once you have got the map the right way up and identified features, both near and far, and taken bearings on them, that will be it I would have thought, especially given the size of the fields in Appleby.

Totally correct, I spent a couple of hours pacing and measuring distance, taking bearings from features, taking bearings from the map, transferring a bearing from compass to map, walking on a bearing, back bearings, resection. I then tried to triangulate my position on the map other than with a resection and found that my chinagraph pencils are not sharp enough to pin down with the level of precision needed in a tiny Appleby field to be worth doing but really I can remember how to do that. Same with aiming off. Now I'm confident doing these things I can go practice them.

If you want to start simple, there are some physically easy walks in the area where you can map read your way along to gain confidence in your abilities. After all, you have already said you can map read to some extent. Perhaps the text book has overcomplicated things for you.  Take a walk down Smardale for example. It is a railway walk so you canít get lost and you can concentrate on fixing your position and thumb your way along it. It has good features like bridges, buildings, water features and field boundaries. The landscape also changes considerably as you go along it so you can also start contour reading

The Gaythorne Plain takes it to the next level. The fixing features are there but more subtle, apart from the line of the paths and their intersections but the area is bounded by roads so you cannot stray too far.

Thinking of next place to go, Smardale? I already have been reading contours a bit, I've also not come across a ridge or a saddle before but knew what they would look like in the photo from the contours. I think I'm OK at the basics? Maybe I should go have a look and see how much Smardale looks like I think it does. I could practice slope aspect confirmation and relocation there too if I wandered a bit towards Smardale Fell but then again I could practice that if I went on another hill walk.

As for Gaythorne Plain, what's a fixing feature? I googled it and got nothing.
« Last Edit: 15:12:21, 30/04/19 by Rob Goes Walking »

ninthace

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #26 on: 15:07:28, 30/04/19 »

To include Smardale Fell.  Park as for Smardale at NY 73935 08235.  Walk N, E, S, back onto School Lane.  Fork right to go past Smardale Hall on the lane, pass under the railway line and follow the lane to the end,  NY 73778 07678.  A bridleway leads SSW up Smardale Fell to meet a bridleway crossing SW/NE.  Go SW (you are now on the Coast to Coast) to cross Scandal Beck at Smardale Bridge. Climb up from the beck a short distance to a footpath going ENE up to the railway. Do not cross the railway but drop down onto it and follow it generally NE back to the car park.
I do have a trace that includes this route but I will let you plan your own from the directions I have given you.


To answer the second question - a fixing feature is any feature on the map you can use to work out exactly where you are in the ground.
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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #27 on: 15:15:47, 30/04/19 »
Thanks ninthace. One more question, is there a good way of telling when the contour slope direction changes when there are no obvious contour rings or numbers nearby? I've been caught out expecting the slope to keep going up and it suddenly goes down before.

ninthace

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #28 on: 15:17:37, 30/04/19 »
Thanks ninthace. One more question, is there a good way of telling when the contour slope direction changes when there are no obvious contour rings or numbers nearby? I've been caught out expecting the slope to go up and it suddenly goes down before.
  By changes direction do you mean from up to down and vice versa?
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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Overweight hiker navigation thread
« Reply #29 on: 15:20:48, 30/04/19 »
  By changes direction do you mean from up to down and vice versa?

Yes, I know you can tell slope direction from the direction of the numbers and also it's obvious if there are contour rings nearby but once (maybe there were rings nearby and I simply wasn't looking for them) I'd assumed I'd keep going up when at some point it started going down.