Introductory Navigation Course Details


Who is the course suitable for?

Our 2 day Bronze Navigation Course suits a wide variety of participants from those completely new to navigation to hill goers who have picked up some navigation skills informally and now want to consolidate them under an expert eye.  It is also ideal for those who have not used their skills for some time and want a skills refresher.  

The course is suitable for adults of all ages and we are happy to have participants as young as 16 (although under 18’s need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).  If you want us to arrange a similar event for groups under 16 please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.


How fit do I need to be?

We will be operating in wilderness areas and travelling on open ground away from main footpaths so participants need to be physically able to cope with that.  Having said that, we won't cover a huge amount of distance as we need to spend time discussing navigational techniques along the way.  As a general guide we will typically cover no more than 6-7 miles on each of the days which is a comfortable distance for most people who spend occasional days in the hills.


What is the format of the day?

We will meet at 9.00am in the Derwent Valley which is right in the heart of the Peak District National Park (full joining instructions will be sent with your booking confirmation).  We are very keen to help protect this precious natural environment (details of our Environment Policy are here) so if you don’t have a car we can collect you at the local train station and if you are travelling by bus we can also pick you up and drive you to the venue.  Once introductions are complete we’ll head out to a suitable location and get started (we use a variety of venues to help prevent overuse and this flexibility also allows us to make a choice suitable for the weather and group composition).

We stay out for the full day so be sure to bring food and drink for a picnic lunch. 

We introduce skills progressively and at a pace that suits each participant.  We are experts at delivering navigation skills and use a range of methods to aid learning.  Having said that, the emphasis is always on lots of ‘doing’ because you’ll learn best by trying things out and practicing.  During the 2 days you’ll learn a ‘toolbox’ of essential navigation techniques to help you get off the beaten track confidently.

The selection of techniques covered will include:

•    Understanding the map as a two-dimensional plan.

•     Using map symbols and scales on a variety of maps.

•     Orientating maps with and without a compass.

•     Using the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.

•     Taking a 6 figure grid reference and location reference points on the map.

    Choosing simple navigation strategies and routes.

   Planning safe and suitable walks.

•     Using linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails.

•     Estimating distance both on maps and on the ground

•     Understanding contours to match landforms to their map representation.

•     Relocating using simple techniques

•     Understanding access rights and responsibilities.

•     Demonstrating knowledge of the countryside code and procedures to be followed in emergencies.

The day will end at about 4.30pm.


Who will be looking after me?

Peak Mountaineering prides itself on the quality of its instructors and our excellent reputation.  The instructor that leads your course will be fully qualified and fully insured.  They will be also be one of our close knit instructor team and personally known to us.  We only use instructors who know the area well so they can ensure you visit the best venues and get the most from your day.  

Having said all that, we know that the views of past clients are probably your best guide to the quality of our provision.  Please take the time to read the independent reviews clients have left before you book.  


Where can I stay?

The Peak District has a wealth of accommodation options to suit all budgets.  The course is centred around the village of Hathersage but the nearby villages of Bamford, Hope, Castleton or Grindleford are all ideally situated for the course.  There are plenty of ideas available in our accommodation guide here.


What do I need to bring?

Participants will need suitable outdoor clothing and supportive boots.  Please also bring a set of waterproofs as the weather can change significantly over the course of a day.  The only other essential is a rucksack which should contain some spare clothing and lunch.  A more detailed general list for hillwalking activities is available here.

If you’d like to purchase a map the one needed for the course is the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 OL1 (Dark Peak).  It is essential that your map is weatherproof so if you are buying one please choose one of the waterproof ‘Active Map’ versions (or use a waterproof map case).  We can lend you a map if you wish but please let us know in advance.

You will also need a suitable compass.  Again, we can lend you one but please let us know in advance.  Many course participants like to have one of their own so they can get used to using it.  A good compass will last for many years. If you are purchasing one we strongly recommend the Silva Expedition 4.  This is a perfect model for general navigation and is used by just about every instructor we know!  


Other benefits for Peak Mountaineering customers

We have negotiated some great discounts with a selection of great retailers for all course participants.  Full details will be sent with your booking information but you also can also have a look at what's available here.

Finally......a selection of other frequently asked questions can be found here and if you need any other information don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01433 620283 or click on the enquiry form tab to request places .