Wessex Navigation Course by Marta Adamus

Our first WMC Navigation Course took place on a beautiful June evening in the New Forest.

Three brave trainers Max, Frodo and David were ready for our ‘knowledge hungry’ club members Chloe, Julian, Tracy, John and me (Marta). Apparently, the weather was not on our side dry, sunny, plus 20 degree Celsius but I beg to differ.

Those with a little bit of pre-course knowledge followed Max while Chloe and I were  given personal tutors for the day! We learned how to read OS maps and how to use and not to use a compass.

After completing a few orienting exercises requiring the use of a compass and a map we proceeded, leapfrogging in pairs. This did not involve wearing green amphibian outfits or jumping after flies, but an important navigation technique used, to walk on a bearing in poor visibility in the absence of land features. Despite the tutors comments on our cheap make compasses Chloe’s Hi-Gear and my £2 eBay Army Special worn, we were the closest to the destination point.

We finished the training in the dark well after the last pub orders much to Julian’s disappointment. It was an excellent event both educational and fun. A big ‘thank you’ to the trainers for sharing the wealth of knowledge with us. I hope that will be a follow up event.

Did you know?
The North is not always the True North. Compass Magnetic North is not the actual North on the North Pole. As the Earth is not a perfect sphere and Earth’s magnet isn’t perfectly aligned with the geographical poles, you compass will point to the magnetic North rather than the actual North Pole.

If you are going to WMC Peru expedition your regular compass will not work because the horizontal and vertical components of the earth’s magnetic field vary considerably in different locations and the world and each zone requires a different compass needle. You have to buy a new one specially made to work in each area of the world. Frodo can recommend a reliable German technology :)

If there is another compass near yours, they both might stop working accurately. Keep your distance to achieve reliable readings.

Photos are on Facebook here: Tracy’s navigation photos