Navigation Training

The Bronze National Navigation Award is the entry level award on the NNAS scheme, starting with the basics of how to navigate and teaching new skills over the course of the two days.

A fun course for all ages that will simplify the process of navigation in the countryside.

The course is suitable for anyone over the age of 18, although we do allow under 18’s if they are accompanied by an adult. There is no maximum age and we regularly get a mixture of ages and experience and are used to tailoring the course to meet the needs of a varied group of people.

The Bronze Award

What does the course cover?

  • Navigate using a variety of maps and scales.
  • Use 4 and 6 figure grid references with worded descriptions to define the position of a map feature and to locate a feature on the ground.
  • Orientate the map using handrails, obvious point features and major landforms.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths, tracks, clear boundaries) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Relate prominent landforms such as large hills and valleys to corresponding contour information on the map.
  • Orientate the map by aligning a compass needle against grid north and be aware that magnetic variation causes an inaccuracy.
  • Use an orientated map to confirm the direction of travel.
  • Use clearly identifiable features to confirm position along the route and to recognise when the target has been overshot.
  • Measure horizontal distance on the map and estimate distance on the ground using timing, pacing and simple visual judgements e.g.100m.
  • Plan and implement simple routes and navigation strategies based on the above skills.
  • Recognise a navigation error within a few minutes and apply simple relocation techniques using handrails and prominent features.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues, access legislation, personal responsibilities and the Countryside Code.
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of walking equipment, safety equipment and emergency procedures.

The Silver Award

What does the course cover?

  • Utilise the skills and techniques of the Bronze Award in the context of Silver Award navigation strategies.
  • Relate small hills, small valleys, prominent re-entrants and prominent spurs to their corresponding map contours. Use prominent hills, ridges, spurs and valleys as a means of navigation in good visibility.
  • Use landforms and point features to orientate the map and as collecting and catching features.
  • Use a compass to: Accurately follow a bearing; aim off; check the direction of handrails and other linear features.
  • Deviate briefly from a compass bearing to avoid obstacles or difficult terrain and accurately regain the original line.
  • Use back bearings to check route following accuracy.
  • Measure distance on the ground in varied, open terrain using timing and pacing and make practical allowances for any discrepancies.
  • Simplify legs using coarse navigation, attack points and fine navigation.
  • Recognise dangerous or difficult terrain on map and ground.
  • Plan and implement navigational strategies based on the above skills.
  • Maintain route finding accuracy in poor visibility or darkness.
  • Recognise a navigation error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
  • Understand how personal fitness and nature of terrain affect route choice both at the planning stage and on the ground.
  • Understand the potential consequences of fatigue and physical discomfort in demanding terrain and/or extreme weather conditions.
  • Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid items for walking in open country in all weather conditions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Countryside Code, current access legislation and the environmental impact of walkers on the countryside.
  • Understand the responsibilities of walkers towards other countryside interests such as farming, forestry and conservation.

What To Bring

  • Compass
  • Maps of the relevant area for the course you are attending.
  • Full waterproof cover (Jacket and Over trousers), these must be taped seems, please call to discuss if you’re not sure
  • Clothing suitable for the countryside & time of year – We will not be moving quickly, so please account for that in your clothing selection. – remember it is a 2-day course, so you will need clothing for 2 days
  • 1 spare warm top, not cotton please. Wool or synthetic will be fine
  • Spare clothing for day 2, should your day 1 clothing get wet
  • Suitable footwear for wet ground, preferably off road/walking/running shoes
  • Hat & Gloves x 2
  • Headtorch
  • Lunch, day-food & a water flask

Learning Outcome

  • To gain a deeper understanding on how to use a map & compass in order to navigate a chosen route, across different scales of maps.
  • Grow your confidence to take people further afield, but within your qualification’s perimeter’s
  • Gain a bronze NNAS certificate to show you have the skills (continued personal development)
  • Use this course to help you gain your Walking Leader Qualification (It will set you on the right track, giving you a good understanding of navigation, not give you the course work or qualification)
  • Increase your earning potential by being able to plan breath taking routes