Author Topic: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award  (Read 308 times)

Agentorange

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I mostly walk in Kent and mostly in decent weather so it's pretty hard to get really lost...you have to work at it. But I've always rather liked the notion of doing one of the national navigation awards. I guess Bronze would be the place to start.

I was just wondering what people thought of the awards, have they done one ? Did they enjoy it ? Is it a useful thing to have ?

https://nnas.org.uk/

BuzyG

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #1 on: 00:16:44, 07/03/20 »
What is your motivation for doing the course if that's not a daft question.  There are hundreds of ramblers groups where experienced walkers will happily teach you a good deal about navigating whilst walking. :)


Never been one for awards and certificates myself. Bit of an industry.  But I guess you learn to navigate either way.  Which is a very useful skill  O0

Islandplodder

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #2 on: 10:23:26, 07/03/20 »
I did a 1 day navigation course once and found it very useful.  My navigation skills weren't bad, but it sharpened them up, improved my confidence and most of all made me use the map to work out where I was and where I was going rather than try to fit where I mistakenly thought I was to the map, and compounding the error.
I had learnt such skills as I had by a mixture of trial and error and learning from friends. The trouble with learning from friends is that it is all too easy to assume they know what they are doing and tune out. A course is better for putting you on the spot and making you do the work, and I think you learn more that way.
My motivation for doing the course was that I reckoned I was getting too old to land in the wrong valley and face a long trek back to the car!

ninthace

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #3 on: 11:32:51, 07/03/20 »
I did a 1 day navigation course once and found it very useful.  My navigation skills weren't bad, but it sharpened them up, improved my confidence and most of all made me use the map to work out where I was and where I was going rather than try to fit where I mistakenly thought I was to the map, and compounding the error.
We called that situating the appreciation.
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forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #4 on: 12:05:48, 07/03/20 »
Well worth it, once you become adept at navigation it opens up the world to you - the uncertainty you feel when you're off the recognised track is replaced by knowing your location and being comfortable travelling away from crowds, off paths and when you are at an advanced level this should mean regardless of weather or at night time.  Now I'm not saying you should be out by head torch every weekend, but it's freeing to know that you could be.


Looking at the National Navigation Awards, Bronze is broken down to map setting, basic timing/pacing and route planning, contour basics, basic decision making and using a confirmation bearing to match your map.   It seems more about being aware of your surroundings and how it relates to the features on the map, ticking off features/catchment features.  If that is what you're interested in then absolutely go for it.


If you find yourself out in 'open ground', that is to say areas of remote hilly countryside then I'd suggest the silver award might open the door to you getting out to different places since they introduce walking on bearings and start using navigation by contour features - which is in my opinion the difference between being comfortable on a particular path and allowing yourself to go cross country.  However if you aren't interested in that then fair enough.


You also might want to look at 'Navigation' published by Cicerone Press, it's likely a lot cheaper and after reading it a couple of times + applying those techniques your confidence should shoot right up.

Agentorange

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #5 on: 16:57:18, 07/03/20 »
What is your motivation for doing the course if that's not a daft question.  There are hundreds of ramblers groups where experienced walkers will happily teach you a good deal about navigating whilst walking. :)


Never been one for awards and certificates myself. Bit of an industry.  But I guess you learn to navigate either way.  Which is a very useful skill  O0

I'd like to do it for a variety of reasons, firstly it's been a long while since I learnt something just for the sake of learning something or just because I wanted to. I think it'd prove useful - although I think my map reading is OK I've never really done any compass work. Also I'm a  bit of a lazy swine having paid for something would force me to pay attention :-)

I suppose I could get involved in a rambling group, but I tend to be a solitary walker, partly due to some previous health issues ( I don't want to slow people down ) and partly because I just like walking by myself If I want to stop and bask in the sun with a good book or amble off to look at an old ruin then I can.

But mostly because it seems like a fun thing to do....

Agentorange

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #6 on: 16:58:46, 07/03/20 »
IMy motivation for doing the course was that I reckoned I was getting too old to land in the wrong valley and face a long trek back to the car!

This is  also a factor !

Agentorange

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #7 on: 16:59:42, 07/03/20 »

You also might want to look at 'Navigation' published by Cicerone Press, it's likely a lot cheaper and after reading it a couple of times + applying those techniques your confidence should shoot right up.

This one ?

https://www.cicerone.co.uk/map-and-compass-second

« Last Edit: 17:23:31, 07/03/20 by Agentorange »

archaeoroutes

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #8 on: 18:06:04, 07/03/20 »
I'm just going to chime in as an NNAS course director...
Lots of people learn from friends, family, clubs, all sorts of informal ways. And that is great. Many people teach/coach navigation very well, and if you find someone like that, then brilliant!
Thing is, there are also plenty of people who are very good navigators but not very good at teaching it.
The benefit of going on a formal course is that you will definitely be learning from a good teacher. They are trained and nationally moderated in their delivery. They will be up to date with current pedagogy on teaching navigation, and that is something that has shifted a lot in recent years - for instance, as mentioned earlier, there is an emphasis on getting a really deep feel for the map before starting to use a compass.
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forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #9 on: 18:21:21, 07/03/20 »
https://www.cicerone.co.uk/navigation-second


Not sure if it's the same thing, but I have Navigation 2nd edition by Cicerone and it's a good reminder to flip through every so often.  It covers the core skills well. My advice would be get good at these core skills and don't dive into the deep stuff just because you can.  It really isn't very difficult once you practice a few times.


I remember some years ago doing a night navigation course and ended up deciding I'd locate myself by using slope aspect and steepness to demonstrate my knowledge and mastery of all the fancy techniques to my instructor - smug and over confident student as I was.  Of course it all went a bit wrong (in my defence it was -5C and I was fatigued) and I couldn't calculate the steepness properly due to miscounting the contours on the map at night time and not being agile with the arithmetic.


Lesson learned is it doesn't matter how many techniques you know if you can't locate yourself accurately using them with confidence, which is what a course teaches you.  As Bruce Lee says, don't fear those who practice a thousand different kicks.  Fear those who practice one kick a thousand times.

Mel

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Re: Thinking about doing Bronze national navigation award
« Reply #10 on: 19:50:02, 07/03/20 »
If you want to learn the basics of map and compass work then do it. I did and never regretted it. Its a good foundation to build up from.

Totally agree with forgotmyoldpassword's first paragraph in his first reply.
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