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Bronze NNAS Map and Compass Course

The bronze NNAS map and compass course is ideal for beginners or for those who have been walking for a while and keep getting lost! We follow the syllabus of the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS), a structured way to learn navigation skills.

The course starts on Saturday morning with a short indoor session – a chance to meet each other and discover why are you here and what are you hoping to get from the course.

The we head out to spend the rest of the day outside, in small groups, on a series of practical exercises designed to get you using your map properly. Areas that will be covered include map detail, timing, pacing, ticking off, setting maps, linear navigation etc. The day finishes at around five in the afternoon.

Sunday – Another practical day consolidating the skills learned yesterday. Today will include an opportunity to navigate a section or two on your own.  Feedback will be given during the day and at the end and advice will be given on your next navigational steps.

NNAS Bronze Award Syllabus

The Learning Outcomes –  for more details on the NNAS see their website.

On completion of the award participants will be able to plan and safely follow walks in the countryside, primarily on paths and tracks, through being able to:

  • 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 (eg. 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 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.
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