By: Blonde Two

As my collection of maps grows I find it hard to remember a time when I couldn’t read a map. As a child, I loved creating treasure maps and as an adult, I love finding the treasure that maps can lead me to. Learning map reading skills is a lot easier than you think it might be, especially if you attend a navigation course. For this week’s Tuesday’s Ten we have ten reasons to go on a map reading course and learn some map reading skills.

  • Map reading can the pressure off a road trip. No more getting stuck down tiny lanes because Google Maps says you can drive there.
  • Map reading can keep you safe while you are outdoors. Walking, running, cycling and even outdoor swimming. Understanding how to find safety is an important survival skill even if you aren’t Bear Grylls.
  • Map reading can take you to places you weren’t brave enough to visit before. If you walk on paths but spend your time wondering what is ‘just over there’, reading a map can help you explore.
  • Map reading makes you sound knowledgeable. Once you learn how you will soon be using phrases like, ‘The bridge is just 200 metres away’, and ‘Only another kilometre of uphill.’
  • Map reading can occupy autumn and winter evenings. Planning a day out with a map in front of you is almost as satisfying (and sometimes dryer) as undertaking the outing itself.
  • Map reading can help you to make friends. You will be amazed how many people want to go out walking with you once they know that you understand all the lines and squiggles.
  • Map reading helps the outdoors make more sense. If you want to understand the difference between a 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 map scale or their relationship to your favourite outdoor space, get yourself on a map reading course.
  • Map reading can help you to find treasure. Probably not pirate treasure and you shouldn’t be digging that up anyway but trig points, Bronze Age stone circles and even strange dips in the ground can all feel like treasure when you have found them in the middle of nowhere.
  • Map reading can teach you new words to throw into conversation at a dinner party. Find out what a ‘spur’, ‘saddle’ and ‘re-entrant’ are and you are bound to impress. (I think that it how dinner parties work, I’m not invited to many).
  • Learning to map read in a fun and friendly environment will give you a new skill and help you to meet the ‘Keep Learning’ goal for wellbeing.

Hopefully, the above has persuaded you just how useful, interesting and fun attending a map reading course can be. We Blondes take our beginner navigators further than just understanding the map, we get them using compasses as well. If you fancy learning a few new map reading skills in the company of smiling, friendly people, we can recommend… well us really. We are running our final navigation course of 2019 on Saturday November 16th in Princetown on Dartmoor. Only £50 for a day of fun and inspiration for adults of all ages. We look forward to meeting you!

Dartmoor Navigation Courses