Friday, 7 October 2016

World Of Bushcraft Map & Compass

Reading maps has always been something that I thought I was OK at, a base skill set with no frills. I decided to the best way to double check this was to enrol on a World of Bushcraft map and compass workshop. 

It was primarily led by chief instructor Adam with Joe being mentored/ chipping in. So fellow attendee Derek and I started off with some map and then compass basics and we went on to several other areas and I managed to get a magnetic variation question answered that has bugged me for years. Now I mounted my camera on a tripod and used the time lapse mode to capture a few images but it is quite a static thing to take images of, y'know four individuals talking about cartographic documents and kit: Chaps with maps if you will but they give  a flavour.

We went through theory for around three quarters of the session which was handy because whilst I knew some stuff there was a lot of handy information that came my way to fill some gaps too. Here we had done a quick exercise orientating the map and finding a certain point (I don't want to say what it is in a spoiler alert type of way). Straight after this we did some bearing work too which was useful because I don't ever do this during walks etc so it was useful to get a little hands on practice.

We worked out our paces over a given distance for using pacemaker beads (which again I'd never done before). Just before we did it Adam said to try and just do normal steps because, quite rightly, if an individual did unnatural goosesteps or little steps in high heels it wouldn't calibrate them properly for actually using them for real. We tried out a paced walk of several hundred metres and I was pleased to get it spot on although it could have been beginners luck.

And once we'd reached our end point Adam worked out the bearing as a cross reference to show how to double check that we had reached our intended goal.


We retired back to the centre for another brew (the reason why Joe is missing from one of the shots) and a little more map talk before calling it a day. Arguably map reading is like, say, first aid in that it's perhaps not as sexy as something like fire by friction or shelter building but despite the fact that I don't really do map reading that often I'm really glad that I went to polish up on the old skills.


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