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1-day Introduction to Mountain Navigation Course


Is it for me?

This course is ideal if you are looking to learn essential navigation skills for walking in the mountains. Of all the skills needed to explore the mountains safely, the ability to navigate is one of the most important. Based out of Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, I will introduce you to a "toolbox" of techniques with time to practice in the "real world". Although we cover a lot during this intensive day, we start with the basics and take a very progressive approach.

Small groups - maximum 4 participants.

Choose between scheduled events (available for individuals to join as part of an open group) and private courses (can be run throughout the summer on mutually-agreeable dates to suit you and your group).

Hire of map, map case and compass included in the course price.


Course content

Over the day we will look at:

  • Tools of the trade;
  • Setting the map;
  • An introduction to contour lines;
  • Identifying features from the map using the key and developing map-to-ground and ground-to-map interpretation; and
  • Splitting our overall journey into shorter navigation "legs" with an emphasis on planning a leg, ticking off features as we move, recognising our destination when we get there, and identifying if we have gone beyond our intended destination.*

*This is very much the "nuts and bolts" of navigation and we will typically start on easy-to-follow paths with lots of obvious features, before moving on to more featureless terrain away from paths. As part of this we will look at further techniques including: 

  • Using the compass to take and follow a bearing;
  • Estimating distance travelled; and
  • Identifying and using "catching features".


Dates and prices

Scheduled events (available for individuals to join as part of an open group):

  • 2024 dates coming soon

Price: £90 per person


Private courses (can be run throughout the summer on mutually-agreeable dates to suit you and your group):

  • 1 person or 2 people: £180
  • 3 people: £225
  • 4 people: £240


Further information

Experience required: To make the most of this course, you should have a reasonable level of fitness and be keen to learn. No previous navigation experience is required.

Equipment required: A full kit list will be provided at the time of booking. Course participants will need to supply most of their own kit.

Joining instructions: Course participants will meet in Aviemore on the morning of their course. This will allow the most suitable venue for the day to be chosen based on the weather forecast etc. Course participants will need to arrange their own travel from Aviemore to the course venue. If you will not have a car, for example if you are planning on arriving in Aviemore using public transport, please advise at the time of booking as it may be possible to facilitate a lift "up the hill". Car sharing amongst course participants will be encouraged.

Please contact me to discuss your requirements or to book.


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