Past Meetup

Navigation Course - map reading and compass use with Mountain Rescue man

This Meetup is past

11 people went

Price: £25.00 /per person

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Have fun reading maps, create your own routes, navigate safely and hopefully never get lost again!

We provide maps, compasses and great fun learning from a hugely experienced navigation instructor.

Course description

An introduction to some of the skills you would need to navigate in wild, mountain terrain. The course aims to give everyone a firm grounding, but also be interesting and fun. It`s challenging, but will proceed at your pace to provide effective tuition.

It`s impossible to replicate exactly the conditions and terrain of the mountains close to London. It is, however, more than possible to examine many of the skills and techniques required to safely negotiate wild country and with a variety of terrain and many landmarks Hampstead Heath is an ideal and accessible location for this course. Attend our course and you`ve taken the first steps towards self-sufficiency in the mountains!

This course is designed for beginners with no previous navigation experience and we will provide maps and compasses to be used along with all training material. You will work in no more than 5 pairs to ensure a good instructor to student ratio.

Topics covered by the course

• Identify common “handrails”.

• Orientate map using features.

• Orientate map using compass.

• Use collecting and catching features.

• Estimate short distances by eye.

• Estimate distances by double pacing.

• Estimate time needed to complete specific distance.

• Use paths and handrails for navigation.

• Use landforms for navigation.

• Route choices.

• Aiming off.

• Use of a compass in navigation.

• Bearings and walking on a bearing.

About the navigation instructor

Allan is a hugely experienced and qualified “International Mountain Leader” ( ) with nearly 20 years of experience in Mountain Rescue in Wales and 30 years of experience professionally leading hikes all over the world. In addition he is also very experienced in teaching navigation and teaches professionally for the NNAS training scheme. He’s provided several navigation courses for Outdooraholics previously with superb feedback. For more information about Allan please see:

What you require

• Clothing suitable for whatever the weather conditions are - hiking kit is advisable if you have it as well as waterproofs just in case

• Water - ideally at least 1 litre for hydration

• Light snacks may be useful

• NOT map/compasses. We will provide these

Location and meeting time/details

This course will be held on Hampstead Heath. The meeting location is the pub below, please ask the bar staff if you cannot find Allan or phone him. Full details will be emailed out on the Thursday before.

The Wells pub [masked])
30 Well Walk

Hampstead Heath (Northern Line) is about 500 metres walk

Hampstead train station is just under 1km away

The course will start promptly at 9am, but please arrive 15 minutes early. There is a lot of material to cover and we cannot delay the start of this course for latecomers. Sadly if you arrive more than 15 minutes late we will have left for Hampstead Heath and it will not be possible to join the course at this stage


This course is for 4 hours and the cost is £25 per person to be paid in advance by Paypal

Refunds or transfers are not available, but if you become unable to attend, you are welcome to try to sell your space as detailed below:

If you need to sell your space, change your RSVP to "no" AND email us including the "invoice ID" number from your Paypal receipt. If you do not email us at the time of changing your RSVP OR if your space does not sell you will not get a refund

Below are some photos from Allan's previous navigation courses:

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