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Map skills

Aim of this 2 day course is to learn the skills to navigate using linear features and large land forms like valleys and prominent hills. A compass will be employed solely for assistance in orientation of the map to the ground.


Training – Able to plan and follow simple walks in the countryside mainly on paths and tracks.
• Understand the nature of a map as a two dimensional plan.
• Understand how to use map symbols and scales, on a variety of maps.
• Take a 6 figure grid reference for any given position and also locate such a reference on the map.
• Orientate the map with and without a compass.
• Use the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.
• Choose simple navigation strategies and routes.
• Use linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
• Estimate distance on both map and ground.
• Using a basic understanding of contours, match major landforms like hills and valleys to their map representation.
• Plan a safe, suitable walk.
• Relocate using simple techniques on paths and other handrails.
• Understand access rights and responsibilities.
• Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues and access legislation.
• Demonstrate knowledge of the Countryside Code, and of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.

Assessment – Assessed on ability to navigate using a variety of simple line features in open countryside and/or woodland.
• The assessment route would normally include a number of points on distinct features which require the navigator to use a variety of line features.
• The assessment route would normally have frequent changes in direction to assess map orientation skills.
• The practical assessment undertaken over a distance of 3-5km dependent on terrain.
• Practical assessment reinforced by questions on the basic skills of navigation, route planning, selection and safety.
• The duration for training and assessment at Bronze level is a minimum of 12 hours, to cover all aspects of the syllabus.

Additional Information

If you wish to discuss any aspect of the course or your suitability for it, please Contact Us