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Navigation & Map Reading Eryri (Snowdonia)

By 8th September 2020March 11th, 2024Navigation


Join us on a GPS navigation and map reading course in Eryri (Snowdonia) and you will learn the golden rules of navigation – and much more.

Navigation using a map and compass is not some irrelevant skill from the past. GPS and smartphones have not made map reading redundant. For any number of reasons it’s still the number one skill to learn before venturing out into remote hills and mountains in the UK. We discuss these reasons on our courses. The root cause of many accidents and mountain rescue call-outs is a navigational error. Sure, they may be called out to rescue a walker with a broken leg. But when you trace back along the chain of events that led to the accident, it so often stems from ‘taking the wrong turn’ or ‘not being sure of the way.’

You can also read our article with lots of tips on how to improve your map reading and navigation skills.

Booking and Prices

If you’d like to know more about our GPS navigation and map reading courses in Eryri (Snowdonia), then see our main page for more details and prices or see what our clients say about us.

When you are ready, then get in touch to make an enquiry or a booking.

We also run navigation courses in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Beginners’ Map Reading Courses in Eryri (Snowdonia)

These map reading courses are ideal for anyone who is terrified by navigation or thinks that they simply can’t do it. The emphasis is on demystifying the whole subject and making it accessible to everyone. Simple language. Simple concepts. Everyday comparisons. In addition, we have a whole ‘toolbox’ of techniques and tips to help you to understand in a way that makes sense to you.

As with many things, you don’t need to learn or even understand everything on Day One. You just need to know enough. Once you have practised what you have learned and it is becoming embedded, then it’s time to move again. This is how the courses are structured. They give you the opportunity to learn progressively at your own pace, regardless of what others might be doing.

A group off walkers study their maps during a beginners navigation course in Snowdonia

Relating the map to ground

Intermediate Navigation and Map Reading Courses

Our intermediate courses build on the beginners’ map reading courses and help you to become independent in more challenging terrain and situations. Typically this will involve more reliance on your compass and less on visible ‘handrail’ features. It will also involve making much more use of contours to interpret the shape of the land rather than relying on man-made features or easily visible features such as tracks, streams and forests.

For those courses based on GPS navigation, we look at both dedicated devices (such as a Garmin) and use of a mobile phone. We will cover the key functionality and different modes of a GPS device so you understand how best to use it in different circumstances. We will also look at navigation using a mobile phone, and discuss which apps and mapping are most suitable. We will also cover the limitations and constraints associated with relying on mobile phone for navigation.

A client practices her map reading off tracks in a remote part of Snowdonia during a mountain navigation course” width=

Navigating away from the tracks

Advanced Navigation Courses

Coming on an advanced navigation course in Eryri (Snowdonia) will give you the knowledge and skills you need to go anywhere in the mountains, and in any conditions.

One of our advanced navigation courses is suitable for those who already feel confident navigating on paths and tracks. You may even venture off the tracks and perhaps use compass bearings occasionally. This course will take your navigation skills to the next level. We will look at at more precise navigational techniques, in particular accurate interpretation of contour lines. We will also examine and practice accurate timing and pacing, and following compass bearings.

A man studies his map carefully in a remote part of the mountain in Snowdonia during a navigation course

Checking for clues in the detail of the map

Next, we will assemble these ‘building blocks’ into a range of advanced navigational strategies. This becomes your ‘toolbox’ of techniques to solve any navigational problem that circumstances throw at you. As well as being coached during plenty of practice, you will pick up a host of tips along the way – such as how to judge your own walking speed.

An advanced navigation course in Snowdonia will suit you if your walking exploits are becoming more adventurous and you are likely to encounter any of the circumstances described above. It could also be useful for someone who is on the journey with their Mountain Training qualifications and wants a bit of coaching or to be put through their paces a little.