If you are to remain safe in the mountains, one of the key skills that you need is to be able to navigate proficiently. In this section you will find lots of information about navigation and background information about topics relating to navigation. Navigation is not easy to start with, but with practice it can become more straightforward, and there will come a point when it will ‘just click’, and then you’ll have broken its back. Practice really does make perfect.
Even when you get to a good standard of navigation it is easy to lose concentration and miss map features or make other small mistakes. Depending on the weather conditions and visibility you need to pay attention to your navigation at all times so that you don’t become temporarily mis-located! (A good navigator never gets lost.) In reality even the best navigators sometimes have to re-locate themselves, but being able to do so is a skill of navigation in itself.
To be able to navigate you will need a map. This can either be in a paper form or a digital form on your GPS/Phone. What ever form you have you will need to be able to interpret the information and this is known as map reading. There is a link HERE to an excellent document produced by the UK Ordnance Survey which will start you on your journey to being able to map read.
Planning a route is also vitally important you will find some useful advice on both safety and planning a route HERE
Many an experienced Mountain walker will tell you that a map and a compass are essential you may decide that a GPS or a smart phone with an app is the way that you wish to go. If that is the case then we have put together some information on the pros and cons of the GPS and smart phone HERE.