BMC Introduction to Navigation & Hill safety

A one day introduction to navigation and mountain safety course for BMC members.

This one day course introduces the basics of navigation and safety when walking in the hill / mountain environment.

Who is it for ?

You are a BMC member, and want to learn some basic navigation and safety skills, so you feel comfortable walking (or accessing remote climbs) away from the crowds.

BMC Introduction to Navigation – Course Overview

During the day you will look at the basic equipment you should have with you on a days hill walk, how you might plan a days walk and then the navigational skills you will need to carry out that days walk.

This will be a day spent outside in whatever the weather brings learning by doing.

BMC Navigation & Hill Safety – Course Format

Start 09:00 Grindleford

We start with a short chat to introduce the course and ourselves and also work out individuals knowledge before heading out. During the day we will cover:

  • Using the map as a two-dimensional plan.
  • Using map symbols and scales on a variety of maps.
  • Orientating maps with and without a compass.
  • Using the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.
  • Taking a 6 figure grid reference and location reference points on the map.
  • Choosing simple navigation strategies and routes.
  • Planning safe and suitable walks.
  • Using linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails.
  • Estimating distance both on maps and on the ground
  • Using contours to match landforms to their map representation.
  • Relocating using simple techniques
  • Understanding access rights and responsibilities.
  • Countryside Code and procedures to be followed in emergencies.
  • What basic equipment you might take on a days hill walking

Close 17:00

Course Details

  • Location: Peak District
  • Cost: £50 per person
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Ratio: 1:6
  • Level: Introduction
Select course date

More Information

  • Course Dates
  • Meeting Point

    The course will meet at The Sir William Hotel at 0900 in the village of Grindleford. The village has good bus and train links with Sheffield and good train links to Manchester.

    The hotel has ample free parking.

  • Equipment Required

    A full kit list with recommendations as to what works best is contained in the Joining Instructions. These also contain a host of helpful tips and links to articles and videos to help you get the most out of the course.
    Key items are:

    • Map.  The Peak District White Peak area 1:25,000. OL24. We strongly recommend using laminated maps
    • Compass. We recommend the Silva Type 4 / Expedition compass. Read our review of the Silva compass here. Cheaper compasses malfunction very regularly (on average 1 per course) so we advise you don’t waste your money on an Amazon cheapy and buy a good one from the start.
  • Recommended Reading

    Whilst it is not required to read anything before the course (apart from the joining instructions!), we give some suggestions below. More detailed suggestions together with a host of helpful links and videos are contained in our Introduction to Navigation Course Joining Instructions.

    The official handbook of Mountain Training (National Governing Body) that covers navigation contains lots of useful information. It is:
    Mountain Training Handbook, Volume 4, Navigation in the mountains. Carlo Forte.
    Ordnance survey also produces a very useful free downloadable guide:

  • Fitness Level

    An average level of general fitness is necessary with the ability to complete a 6 hour day walk in the hills.

  • Accommodation Options

    This Beyond the Edge course is non-residential to allow you to select between a thermarest or 5 star hotel as you require.

    There is lots of accommodation in the Hope Valley and we recommend The Sir William which offers BtE clients a discount and this course runs from here.

    Further details and other options are listed on our Accommodation page.

    If you are struggling to find something or want something special, contact the office and we will endeavour to assist.


  • How do I book ?

    The best way is via this webpage. Choose the date from the options on the above and then submit your booking and pay the deposit.

    For bespoke events get in touch first so we can check diaries and if required give you a quote. Get in touch by either calling the office on 01142 631 155 or emailing us.

  • Does the course include accommodation ?

    Not usually! We prefer to let you choose where you will be most comfortable. This may be in a tent or in a luxury hotel.

    In the Peak District we work out of the The Sir William hotel. This is a comfortable Inn with stunning views over the Hope valley and it also serves great food. We recommend that you stay here as they are well versed in looking after walkers and climbers, offer a discount to BtE clients and it’s a 30 second commute from the breakfast table to our meeting room!

    Further details and other accommodation options can be found on our accommodation page.

    For bespoke courses and events we can arrange whatever you desire from a bivouac under the stars to a spa hotel.

  • Children, Parking, Dogs, COVID and everything else...

    You will find all of the most frequently asked questions and their answers on our FAQ webpage

Course Details

  • Location: Peak District
  • Cost: £50 per person
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Ratio: 1:6
  • Level: Introduction
Select course date

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