WHY COME ON ONE OF OUR COURSES?
In the age of GPS enabled smartphones you can find out where you are with a touch of the screen, so you may be asking 'Why do I need to learn outdoor skills?' It's a very good question; here are a few of the many good reasons:
It's fun! Learning a new skill is a great way to challenge yourself and finding your way around the mountains with just a map, a compass and your brain is immensely satisfying. And it's a great way to meet new people and share some amazing experiences!
GPS can tell you where you are but it doesn't help you to understand the terrain you'll be walking in. Planning a safe route that is within your capabilities requires a good understanding of contours, map features, distances and walking pace.
GPS is great when it works (in fact it's one of our favourite inventions!), but you need line of sight to the satellites for an accurate position. GPS devices can be useless in narrow valleys or dense woodland.
If your phone or GPS device runs out of charge or breaks when you're in the mountains you could be lost without a map, a compass and the knowledge of how to use them.
There are many skills other than navigation that are vital to staying safe and enjoying the mountains, such as equipment choice, how to get fresh water, where to camp and how to manage your group. You can read about these on your phone but there's no substitute for experience!
Studying maps and relating them to the land around you allows you to really appreciate the environment you are in, which helps to make your adventure all the more enjoyable.
Maps are fascinating and beautiful things. They are the key to a world of exploration, discovery and freedom, and once you fully understand them you can't fail to enjoy them!