NNAS Silver Award

Skill Level Required / suitable for: Beginners, Intermediates, Veterans

Course Fee: £137.50 – incl. booking fee

(option to pay in 2 installments available – contact us directly)

Locations: Chiltern Hills, New Forest, Peak District

Course dates and booking: Click Here


This 2-day NNAS Silver Award is ideal for beginners and intermediates who want to take their navigation skills that extra bit further. The course builds on those skills delivered in the NNAS Bronze Award and introduces additional pieces to add to your navigation toolbox such as night/low visibility navigation, heading ‘off-piste’ and micro-navigation. You do not have to complete the NNAS Bronze Award before the Silver, but you might find it useful.

It is a very practical, enjoyable and hands-on weekend which will provide you with all those necessary skills you need to plan mountain walks, take the lead and explore.

Intothesticks.life is an official provider of the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS), meaning we can provide an accredited and recognised qualification in Navigation. If you are successful in achieving the pass criteria of this course you will receive an NNAS Bronze Award certificate. The NNAS Silver award is accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 5, and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on completion.

If you are interested in attending this course but not necessarily interested in gaining the qualification, you’re more than welcome to complete the course without assessment.

What will this course do for you?

By the end of the course, you will gain:

  • Skills to help navigate away from paths and tracks
  • Ability to navigate in low visibility
  • Confidence and enjoyment of the outdoors
  • A recognised national award (NNAS)

What’s covered?

Among other skills, we will cover:

  • Navigation strategy & decision making
  • How to plan and follow your route
  • Accurate distance estimation (visual, timing, pacing)
  • Understanding and visualising contours
  • How stay safe outdoors

At intothesticks.life we run a very friendly, informal and relaxed approach to learning; teaching from personal experience gained from years of adventuring. The course groups will be no bigger than 8 people, which means we have plenty of time to dedicate to each person, so nobody feels forgotten or left behind.

You should expect to cover a very steady and comfortable distances each day across moors, hills and woodlands; you do not have to be a marathon runner, but a suitable level of fitness would be beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions

full terms and conditions can be here

How long is the course?

The NNAS Silver Award is two full days starting at 09:30 and finishing at 17:00

If you cannot complete the course in one weekend, you are welcome to do spread it over two separate weekends. Just see the course dates for what’s available.

Does the assessment include a written exam?

No. The course is entirely practical. There are a few discussion points we will go over during the course, but there is absolutely no written element to this course. The assessment is all about how well you use those essential navigation skills.

Are there toilets nearby?

Not necessarily. We will always try to start and finish near toilet facilities but when we are walking on the route or having lunch, we may not be near any toilets. We recommend using a really nice bush – especially if it’s got a great panoramic view!

What should I bring?

It is highly recommended that you bring with you:

  • Basic outdoor walking gear (including good waterproof jacket and trousers)
  • Comfortable worn in walking boots or walking shoes
  • At least 1L of water for each day and a packed lunch and snacks for the trail
  • Suitable clothing for the weather: warm layers, spares, woolly hat/sun hat, gloves, sunglasses
  • Relevant maps and a compass (we can provide these if you do not have any)

Jeans, wellington boots and heels are not suitable.

We reserve the right to refuse to allow you to continue with the course if you are not prepared properly. If you have any questions at all about what you should bring or if it is suitable, please ask before attending the course.

Is there somewhere I can heat my lunch up?

No. Bring a cold packed lunch and do not rely on being able to buy food at lunch time. We could well be eating out lunch in the woods, in a field or on a hill.

What do I need to know before I attend your course?

You can come on this course with little to no navigational experience whatsoever. You might find it useful to complete the NNAS Bronze Award beforehand as these provides an excellent introduction to the skills we will be developing during the Silver Award

It would be helpful if you refreshed yourself with the Countryside Code. This will be discussed during the course too.

There are a great selection of books to look at too if you wanted to, we highly recommend ‘The Ultimate Navigation Manual’ by Lyle Brotherton.

YouTube is also a fantastic resource for looking up navigation skills. Steve Backshall has done a handful of videos for Ordnance Survey and you can find them here

Can I do it by myself?

You can do this course by yourself or bring some friends along but they must be booked onto the course as well.

Can I do it in a group?

Group bookings are available and can be organised directly through intothesticks@hotmail.com.

Can I bring children?

Sorry, but we do ask that you leave children at home.

Can I bring a dog?

We absolutely love dogs at intothesticks.life, however some of the course locations do not, so unfortunately we advise that dogs are left at home too.

Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes you do! Upon successful completion of the NNAS Silver Award, the National Navigation Award Scheme will issue you with an e-certificate.

How do I know if it’s the right course for me?

If you want the confidence in your ability to navigate and recognise features in your surroundings with a map and compass, then this is for you. You will learn skills that enable you to get outside and away from the typical paths and tracks at any time of the day and any condition.

How fit do I need to be? How far will we be walking?

A moderate level of fitness is all that’s required for the NNAS Silver Award course. The course involves plenty of walking over a variety of terrains in all weathers. You should be able to comfortably walk a very steady 10km over the period of day – you do not need to be a marathon runner!

If the course is fully booked, to give everybody a fair chance to learn the skills and lead the group, you should expect to be walking no more than 15km over 6 or 7 hours. It is a nice gentle pace with lots of breaks.

What happens when I book a place?

To book a spot, you need to get in touch using the methods over here. From there we will make sure your course of choice is definitely available before we confirm availability and arrange payment. Once payment is received you will be officially placed on that course and you will receive a confirmation email with further details about the weekend and what you will need to bring.

What happens if I cancel my booking after paying?

Depending on the notice you give us, we will arrange a refund for you. Please be aware that the percentage of the refund depends on the notice we receive.

3 weeks before course: 100% refund

2 weeks before course: 50% refund

1 week or less before course: 0% refund

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