Low Visibility Navigation
Most people can navigate when they can see, but what if your vision extends only as far as your headtorch can shine? What if you suddenly find yourself lost in the dark or surrounded by thick fog? Since navigating in the dark is likely to happen at the end of a day, possibly after something went wrong earlier on, the skills required and techniques used should be practised at least once in the safety of an organised exercise. The workshop runs over one (albeit long) evening. Needless to say a headtorch is an absolute must for this one.
Upcoming open sessions:
None at this time
You should be able to take and follow a bearing with relative confidence. You will be reasonably familiar with basic navigation strategies. If you have completed NNAS Silver or NNAS Gold (or equivalent courses) you should not encounter any issues.
What will you learn?
- Interpreting the map in low/no visibility
- Identifying suitable features to use in the given conditions
- Confident taking and following of bearings
- Accurate pacing and timing - how to ensure this is consistent
- Contours as a primary navigation tool
- Emphasis on coarse and fine navigation - when to relax while concentrating
What can you expect?
Enhance your compass skills and practice your navigational precision. Learn to trust your tools, systems and strategies in situations where error margins are greatly reduced.
Our evening starts just before dusk when we will meet in the designated car park. Walking out we will take note of our surroundings and demonstrate the need to know some basic information before visibility disappears. Once darkness sets in and our traditional navigation strategies stop working effectively we will begin the meat of the workshop.
Relying primarily on bearings, pacing and timing we will make our way through the area and eventually return back to the car park. Depending on the previous knowledge of participants we may focus our attention on path based navigation or off-path navigation. Either way you are guaranteed plenty of practice, mental challenge and a good evening out.
Please be aware that this workshop likely finishes around midnight to ensure we have sufficient low-light conditions.
What do you need to bring?
Participants should be equipped as if out for a full day out in the mountains with warm layers, waterproofs and sturdy walking boots. Due to the nature of the workshop you will need to provide a head torch with spare batteries (just in case).
All participants will require a 360° baseplate compass, ideally with a magnifying glass built in. There are cheaper and more expensive models on the market to choose from starting around £5 for a cheap Hi Gear compass to £30 for a Silva Expedition 4 model. Our instructors favour the Silva Expedition 4 (non-military model). Whichever compass you choose to bring along make sure it is a baseplate style like the ones mentioned here, has a rotating compass housing with 360° markings, a clearly marked needle (two colours) and comes with measuring scales along the side. Ideally one of these scales should be 1:25k/1:25000. If you are in doubt about a particular model give us a shout and we'll tell you whether it's suitable. Due to the lower margin of error during low visibility navigation we would strongly recommend a brand model (e.g. Silva, Suunto) over a budget model.
We provide all mapping for the duration of the course and you will be able to keep the maps you have used for future use and reference at no extra cost.
Is the course accredited?
This workshop is a top-up to our standard navigation courses. As a result it is not accredited.