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C-N-Do Scotland brochures

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Fast Track to Silver National Navigation Award Course

Silver NNAS Course

This course takes folk from knowing little about formal navigation techniques, to achieving an intermediate level. It is one of a range of practical courses aimed at enabling walkers to gain the necessary skills to navigate in a variety of terrain. This staged scheme offers a systematic and progressive approach to finding your way around in the countryside and opens up the possibility of independent walking with increased confidence.

The bronze level involves navigation mainly by linear features with help from basic compass techniques. No prior knowledge is assumed. The silver elements introduce the notion of simplification and some straight forwards skills for reaching places not necessarily on a handrail feature.

Our experienced instructors are here to help ensure you get all you can from the course. They will put you at your ease and be full of encouragement and support to help you learn more that you thought possible. There will be lots of time to practice, try things out and to ask questions.

The course, which is primarily outdoor based, takes place over 3 days and includes assessment at the silver level. Successful candidates will gain a certificate and badge.

On completion of the course participants will be able to plan and safely follow walks in the countryside, primarily on paths and tracks, through being able to use:-

Bronze Skills:

  • Identify common handrail symbols; Orientate the map against handrails
  • Use an orientated map to follow handrails; Maintain position on the map
  • General map symbols
  • Use collecting and catching features to aid navigation
  • Estimate distances using grid squares; Use 4 & 6 figure grid references
  • Estimate short distances by eye e.g. 100m – a football pitch length
  • Estimate the time needed to walk a specific horizontal distance
  • Measure short distances on the ground using double pacing
  • Have a simple understanding of scales
  • Differentiate between uphill and downhill on the map by reference to contours
  • Recognise prominent hills, valleys, cols, ridges, and spurs on map and ground
  • Orientate the map against major ground features
  • Orientate the map against a compass needle
  • Use an orientated map to check the direction of handrails
  • Plan and implement simple routes and navigation strategies based on the above skills
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues, access legislation, personal responsibilities and the Countryside Code
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of walking equipment, safety equipment and emergency procedures.

And Silver Skills:

  • Set a compass bearing from map to ground
  • Use a compass to follow bearings. accurately across open ground over short distances
  • Measure distances with reasonable accuracy by pacing and by timing
  • Estimate the time needed for height gain
  • Use major landforms (hills, ridges, spurs, valleys) as a means of navigation
  • Identify smaller contour features on map and ground e.g. re-entrants, small hills
  • Use aiming off to reach a target on a linear feature
  • Identify the most appropriate route where more than one option is available
  • Use coarse navigation and collecting features to locate an attack point
  • From an attack point use fine navigation to locate a target
  • Understand how personal fitness and nature of terrain affect route choice both at the planning stage and on the ground
  • Understand the potential consequences of fatigue and physical discomfort in demanding terrain and / or extreme weather conditions
  • Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid for walking in open country in all weather conditions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Countryside Code, current access legislation and the environmental impact of walkers on the countryside
  • Understand the responsibilities of walkers towards other countryside interests such as farming, forestry and conservation

Book Your Fast Track to Silver National Navigation Award Course

Dates Price SRS Spaces  
27-29 Oct 2017 £210 n/a Limited spaces available

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Groups & Private Guiding

Additional dates or spaces are available for group booking and private guiding by arrangement. Let us know your basic requirements and we'll put something together for you.

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Course Information

Start time at C-N-Do office: 08:30

Finish time at C-N-Do office: 17:00

Assumes: You have already have fairly extensive walking experience including navigating the route, have an understanding of maps and can relate the features to the ground.

Course Duration: 3 day non-residential course includes assessment

Covers: Simplification, Taking bearings, Route Strategies including off-path walking, More contour interpretation, Relocation Strategies, Environmental and First Aid awareness.

Ratio: 1:6

Group Size

Minimum number: 3

Maximum number per instructor: 6

Fast Track to Silver NNAS Course - Brief Itinerary

DAY 1: Meet at the C-N-Do Scotland’s office at 08.30. A short indoor session to introduce the course then spend the rest of day out learning and practising the skills at the bronze level.

Return to the base about 16.00 and a short debrief for the day before finishing at ~17.00. There will be a bit of homework to help you reinforce what you have learned during the day.

DAY 2: Rdv at 08.30. Again a short indoor session to set the day then we spend the rest of the day out revising Bronze skills and practising some of the Silver level skills. Return to the base about 16.00 to review the day and explain the next homework.

DAY 3: Rdv at 08.30. Review the homework for a while then head out to practise some more. There will be a seamless transition to assessment mode during the day, to give folk a chance to demonstrate their competence.

Return to base ~15.30ish to go over any outstanding points, followed by an informal Q&A session.

Navigation Courses