Take your first steps into the exciting world of the map and compass
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level2 Two
If you’re keen to become an independent hill-walker then navigation is one of the most important skills you’ll need to learn. But have you ever been confused by a map? Not sure how a compass works? And baffled when the landscape seems to bear no relation to the route you thought you were taking? Then you need to go on a navigation course.
This course is designed for people who are complete beginners at map reading. Our instructors will teach you about maps, get you looking at the landscape in a new way, and even set you on your way to planning and walking your own routes.
We’ll head out for two days into the hillwalking paradise of the Peak District, where the high moors rub shoulders with rolling hills and stunning valleys. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to test your skills, while relaxing back in our accommodation and enjoying some freshly prepared food.
What we cover in the course:
- Introduction to the map and compass
- Locating features
- Reading the landscape
- Following a route
- Where are you allowed to walk?
- Planning a hill walk
The weekend in a nutshell:
- Learn basic navigation and route-finding in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District
- Enjoy supportive tuition with a qualified Mountain Leader
- Relax in our hostel and enjoy the local atmosphere of nearby pubs and cafes.
- Maps and compasses provided, as well as food for the whole weekend.
This course is for beginners. If you already know how to use a map and compass and want more advanced navigation training, consider our ‘Independent Mountain Walker’ courses.
You’re welcome to arrive after 5pm at our hostel, where you’ll meet your fellow navigators and relax in the beautiful surroundings. We’ll serve dinner at 8pm, and until then the evening is yours to grab a cup of tea, head out to the pub, or just relax in the lounge.
After an 8am breakfast and the chance to make packed lunches, you’ll meet your instructor and head out for your first day. We like to leave the exact itinerary up to them, but in general you’ll start with an introduction to the map and compass and work up from there. They’ll tailor the speed of learning to your abilities and allow you to progress at your own rate.
The day will end in the late afternoon and you’ll be back at the hostel with enough time to freshen up, think over the day’s learning, and enjoy a few cups of tea before dinner.
Breakfast is at 8am and packed lunch ingredients are provided. After packing up and leaving the hostel, you’ll head out on day two, which will pick up on where day one left off.
By the end of the weekend we’re confident you’ll be proficient with a map and compass, able to recognise features on the ground and relate them to the map, and be competent at planning and following routes.
Our aim is to increase your confidence, and to make the most of the course you should aim to use the skills within the few weeks following the weekend, otherwise you might lose the knowledge gained.
The day will finish at around 4pm, where’ll be time for one last tea-room visit before it’s time to head home.
You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.
For this weekend we provide the following meals: evening meals on both Friday and Saturday, breakfasts, and a packed lunch for Saturday and Sunday’s walk.
As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes. We do not supply alcohol but you are welcome to bring your own.
This is offered on a single sex shared room basis. All bedding is provided but you will need to bring your own towel..
Please note we are unable to accept dogs on this weekend, with the exception of registered guided dogs which are welcome on all of our trips.
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
S33 8WB Show me
What our members have to say...
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008