Throwing some light on night nav
MTA workshop: Night navigation in lowland terrain
22nd March 2017 - hosted by Steve Pease of Vertical Relief
After a busy day at work, jumping in the car to go and spend an evening strolling through the darkness sounded a bit odd to my (non-outdoorsy) girlfriend, but under the banner of CPD a glimmer of understanding was seen and so the night navigation course was booked.
I met Steve our mentor for the evening in fading light at a carpark near Ivinghoe Beacon, with a small group forming in a huddle bearing head torches. After some introductions and reassurances we were not on an assessment – cue ML assessment flashbacks – “where do you think we are? OK, take us here…”, we set off on our evening’s endeavours.
Each feature we navigated to sparked an interesting discussion on strategies, factors for consideration and some reflection on whether what we’d done had been the most robust and effective strategy
. I have been guilty of over confidence with my navigation in the past, particularly in areas I know well, so it was an excellent pause for thought in using the correct tool for the conditions & environment and not just defaulting to my preferred methodologies.
The group shared their approach to each task and useful tools for quickly finding grid references (great for group use!) and we finished up with some tricky contour recognition & even switched things up with a 1:15000 orienteering (should that be dis-orienting?!) map. It was a great chance to brush the rust off
and add some real insight into such a key skills, and critically was a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommended, and an absolute bargain
- cheers Steve!
Words by a workshop attendee (MTA member 2017)