Author Topic: Map reading  (Read 803 times)

Tony3789

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Map reading
« on: 19:34:31, 28/03/21 »
Hi all i was after some advice on what to do to increase my map reading skills. I can take a 6 figure grid reference read the contours etc. What I would need help with is taking a bearing, orientation of  the map and setting the compass up to true North etc...


Does anyone know of any courses in the Kent area or any good instructional videos which could get me reading a Map to a level where I could get myself out of trouble.


any help or nudge in the right direction would be great.


forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #1 on: 19:50:39, 28/03/21 »
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJp4yCtYcXprknSY_FAUpWG5ZbDwHmfY7


Series may be useful for you.  Would also recommend a course if you get a chance, navigating on featureless terrain is usually more challenging so you don't need mountain features to get good.

Skip

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #2 on: 20:16:22, 28/03/21 »
Tony, I've lifted my post from another thread (below) - hope it helps.

Skip

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As to online tuition, search for the 'Navigator's Dozen', a series of tutorial articles compiled by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland. The twelve topics cover the basics. Here are two links which may be useful to you:

https://www.meadowsdofe.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/navigators-dozen.pdf   


http://ben-nevis.com/mcofs/navigation/navigators-dozen.php

Don't try to read all the tutorials all in one go. Rather, go through them slowly and whenever possible try out each skill as you go.

An alternative would be to attend a navigation course but these tend to be quite expensive, especially if one is on a tight budget.

Perhaps when the Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed and people are free to walk the hills again you could hook up with the Ramblers Association or a local walking group or join a Forum meet. That way you could walk with experienced navigators who would be happy to show you the ropes.
Skip

Tony3789

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #3 on: 20:43:03, 28/03/21 »
Thanks again for the advice Skip I will work my way through the tutorials. The meeting up would be great as well and I will keep my eye out for meets when Covid allows.

Tony3789

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #4 on: 20:44:34, 28/03/21 »
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJp4yCtYcXprknSY_FAUpWG5ZbDwHmfY7


Series may be useful for you.  Would also recommend a course if you get a chance, navigating on featureless terrain is usually more challenging so you don't need mountain features to get good.


Thanks Iíll have a look at that. When Covid restrictions ease I might start enquiries about getting on a course do you know of any good ones ?

pleb

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #5 on: 21:08:53, 28/03/21 »
Just get out and do it, some thing a bit easier than mountains to start with. Seriously.
GET ORRRFFF MY LAAAND

richardh1905

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #6 on: 21:29:31, 28/03/21 »
Just get out and do it, some thing a bit easier than mountains to start with. Seriously.


Agree -just get into the habit of using the map on your local walks, getting a feel for where you are on the map, and what features you are looking at (valleys, hills, woods, churches - anything prominent really). And take some bearings on local landmarks, and then apply them to the map (ignore grid and mag north for now, it is next to zero in the UK at the moment).
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

ninthace

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #7 on: 23:26:14, 28/03/21 »
It has many years since I last used taking bearings in anger to fix my position and even quite a few since I actually walked a bearing out of necessity rather than for the fun of it -  I think the last time was to work out where the exit was when crossing a large field with a hump in the middle.

I have on occasion taken a note of a bearing to find out what some distant feature was called, but that is just for curiiosity rather than navigational necessity.

In my opinion, when walking in most of England and Wales, the most important skill is getting the map the right way up, for which a compass is useful when the features don't make it blindingly obvious - and even then it can be worth a check to stop you situating the appreciation.  Other than that, with few exceptions, and excluding very poor visibility, once you are pointing in the right direction, with decent map reading skills, you should be able to work out where you are and where to go by the features in the terrain.

I think the main secret of success is to navigate pretty constantly rather than intermittently.  Always be aware of the features around you and their relationshio with the map and have an idea what is coming up next - a bend in the path, the crossing of a fielfd boundary, an ascent, a stream and so on.  That way, if you wander off route, the alarm bells will ring sooner and you stand a better chance of sorting yourself out.  Moreover, the more you pay attention to the map and its relationship to the land around you, the more you will begin to appreciate the subtle nuances in the map that not only help you when you are out but will also aid the planning of future walks.
Solvitur Ambulando

Skip

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #8 on: 09:53:10, 29/03/21 »
. . . . the main secret of success is to navigate pretty constantly rather than intermittently.  Always be aware of the features around you and their relationship with the map and have an idea what is coming up next . . . .

Yes, I agree - navving is a continuous process.

I also agree that setting the map (by compass or by aligning the map with on-the-ground features) is a core part of nav.
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Tony3789

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #9 on: 11:09:49, 29/03/21 »
Thanks for the replyís I think with a bit of practice I should be able to get the map the correct way up. I am confident I can read the map and features. A spur a valley etc the steepness of the gradients.


I will get out with a map and if I can get it facing the correct way I should be able to follow it with constant checking on my position. Cheers for the advice I will work through those links above when I get the chance.

ninthace

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #10 on: 11:29:42, 29/03/21 »
I do not want to reopen the map v app v gps debate again in this thread as everyone has their own opinions.  As a pesronal preference, most of my OS  map reading is electronic via phone or gps.  One fringe benefit I have found is because I can only see a small portion of the map immediately surrounding my position, I pick up more on those nuances that I spoke of, which in turn improves my paper map reading.
One thing I have in common with my late father is a love of maps and the ability to just sit down and read one.  I have been known to disappear into the loo clutching a map rather than the paper or a book.  My wife says it is a man thing - I have no idea if that is true.
« Last Edit: 12:15:33, 29/03/21 by ninthace »
Solvitur Ambulando

Tony3789

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #11 on: 11:45:27, 29/03/21 »
Well itís better than sitting on your phone on the toilet like me. I must admit I do enjoying killing time at work looking for fishing spots on google maps for hours.


I was thinking about buying a GPS device as I donít trust my phones battery. I need to hold that off as Iíve spent a small fortune recently getting my basic kit together.




vghikers

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #12 on: 12:19:49, 29/03/21 »
Quote
...the most important skill is getting the map the right way up...

Now that's interesting, assuming I understand correctly, i.e orient the map so that it corresponds to the direction of travel and your intended path is always 'forwards' on the map.
It depends how your brain works: I've read guidebooks where the sketch maps are oriented in that way and it drives me absolutely crackers. Each sketch map is oriented a different way depending on which direction the route is heading during that section.

 I can only visualize maps and routes when north is at the top, regardless of which direction I'm walking.

Quote
Just get out and do it, some thing a bit easier than mountains to start with. Seriously.
Yes, totally agree. Get to know and feel how a certain distance on the map translates into walking on the ground. Look some distance ahead on the map and spot checkpoints to tick off as you go along.



pauldawes

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #13 on: 13:14:50, 29/03/21 »
Depending on how the online tutorials go (and the solo practice on your walks) I wouldnít completely jettison the idea of attending a course.


One of my friends recently did the NNAS bronze and silver awards at a Peak District training college, and I think got ďup to speedĒ faster than he would have done otherwise..and I certainly thought costs were reasonable for what he got.


There are NNAS courses available in Kent ([size=78%]https://www.compasshillskills.com/nnas-bronze-courses[/size]) and I also noticed (via Dr Google) that Kent adult education do a weeks navigation course for 75 quid.

Tony3789

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Re: Map reading
« Reply #14 on: 12:11:37, 30/03/21 »
Thanks PaulDawes both of those  courses sound like a great option. I like the sound of the bronze and silver courses Iíll have a look at the prices especially if itís local.