Moving through the land
The key skill to teach is “situational awareness” (which a lot of trampers don’t really have). So we want them to feel the lay of the country about them, how the track or the route is threading through the country, where the major landmarks are, what to expect next on the track or the route, how long between significant locations (side creeks, saddles, track junctions etc). This information they take from the map and then relate it to what they can see.
So I constantly quiz my group around situational awareness, and use map, compass, rate of travel etc to focus situational awareness onto where they are now and where they intend to go. The prerequisite map, compass, GPS, etc skills flow from that.
Where am I?
Understand map reading. Confirming that what I see around me is what the map says.
- orientating the map
- compass bearings from a map, and compass bearings in the land
- single back bearings onto a linear feature (track, ridge)
- duble back bearing otherwise
- GPS position
In which direction do I go now?
Understand the compass
- using the compass to confirm that the track is pointing in the direction the map would say.
- using the compass at a track junction
- walking on a bearing (taken from the map or the land)
- using the sun for confirmation
- GPS setting way points and using the GPS to travel to them
What will I meet as I go along?
Identify map features along the track or route and tick them off as they are reached
- GPS waypoints
How long will it take me?
Rates of travel in different terrain.