Skill Level Required: Beginner, Intermediate, Veteran
Course Fee: £55.00
Locations: Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire
Course dates and booking: click here
Do you want to explore the great outdoors but lack confidence in your ability to find your way around? Seen a particular walking route or trail you would like to be able to do but worried about getting lost? Do you want to be the one with the map in your group and lead the way?
Come along to our Beginner’s Navigation Course and learn the basic essential skills for getting around with a map and compass from a qualified navigation instructor. If you have never touched a map and compass before, you will leave at the end of the course with a brand new skill that you can put into practice every time you head for the trail.
Boost your confidence, reduce that worry and get outside!
Course Cost: £55.00 per person
The Introduction to Navigation Course is a full day practical course with the aim of providing you with the basic skills and knowledge to help you explore the great outdoors of the UK and beyond!
This course is for everybody from absolute beginners to expert navigators looking to refresh their skills. You will be provided with a fantastic introduction to not just navigation but to how to stay safe and well prepared on your journey.
By the end of the course you will have gained the basic skills necessary for using a map and compass and would have put them into practice a countless number of times. We will also have a quick look at the essential pieces of kit you should take with you to stay safe and well prepared for all elements.
The courses are located across a variety of areas encompassing Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. These counties are the perfect living classrooms and playgrounds to learn and practice the basic essentials, setting you up to explore the rest of the UK in confidence. There will be an element of theory covered in the morning of day one, looking at maps and compasses in detail, and then we’ll soon be off exploring the area on foot.
Course Syllabus Overview
By the end of the course, we expect that you will be able to:
- Learn and develop your skills and knowledge of a variety of maps and scales
- Find features on the map and on the ground
- Orientate the map using both your surroundings and a compass
- Plan and lead the group along simple routes using above skills
- Demonstrate a knowledge of equipment and what to do in an emergency
If that all sounds very daunting and scary, don’t worry! We are very friendly and approachable and will happily go over things with you time and time again until you are totally happy and confident.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the course?
Depending on the participant numbers, The Introduction to Navigation Course starts at 09:30 and finishing no later 17:00.
If the group is small you can expect to finish earlier than 17:00 but this cannot be guaranteed.
Are there toilets nearby?
Not necessarily. We will always 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
- We provide maps and compasses for you use during the course but if you have your own, then bring them along.
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. We’ll go through everything right from the beginning and help you every step of the way!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ask that dogs are left at home too.
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 follow those paths and trails you have been wanting to try all this time!
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 Introduction to Navigation course. The course is done on foot and it will involve plenty of walking over a variety of terrains in all weathers. You should be able to comfortably walk approximately ten miles (15km) over the 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 10 miles over approximately 6 or 7 hours. It is a nice gentle pace and certainly not a run!
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