Introduction to Navigation

Introduction to Navigation
From AUD $550.00
  • Duration: 2 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: I2N Intro to Navigation

Do you want to learn to navigate with a map and compass? Do you want to read a map with confidence? 


If you’ve ever dreamed of being able to find your own way in the bush, break through the invisible walls beside tracks and step off the well-formed trail, to become an explorer and discover your own adventure, read on.


Over two jam-packed days you’ll learn some of the skills essential for off and on track navigation and build your confidence in finding your way in the bush and making wise decisions in an outdoor environment.


Like a detective in a story, you’ll be equipped with skills and knowledge to find the clues to solve the mysteries of where am I? How do I get where I want to go? and how long will it take me?


Who is this course for?

Designed for bushwalkers, hikers, canyoners and climbers with little or no experience in map and compass navigation who want to cover the basics, through to intermediate skills associated with traditional navigation methods.


What will I learn?

This intensive workshop will cover the basics of choosing the right equipment, map reading and interpretation, reading the land, compass use, timing and pace, taking bearings and loads of other tips and tricks to help you recognise, prevent and solve the most common navigation challenges.


What’s included

●     Lunch on both days
●     Topographic Map (to keep)
●     Compass (to keep)
●     Copy of Caro's book How to Navigate (to keep)
●     Group first aid kit (your instructor is qualified in Remote Area First Aid).

What do I need to provide?

  • Accommodation: Blackheath and the upper Blue Mountains offers a wide variety of accommodation options from camping to Youth Hostels to 5 star and boutique hotels. We can provide you with our list of recommended options on request.
  • Transport to and from the practical location on Day 2 (let us know when booking if you would like us to provide you transport)
  • Meals outside of the training hours.
  • Minimum 1.5L water per day
  • Snacks
  • For field day (day 2):
  1.   Day backpack adequate to carry your lunch, water, snacks, own medications, etc
  2.   Your own bushwalking/hiking clothes and footwear appropriate for the bush eg. boots or trail-runners/walking shoes.
  3.   Hat & sunscreen

Key facts:

  • 2 days (Day 1 classroom, day 2 field)
  • Small group (max 8 participants)
  • Minimum 3 participants
  • Qualified Instructor
  • Meet at 8.30am, Blackheath


Dates don't work for you? Prefer a course tailored to your specific needs?? Register at Lotsafreshair to get updates as more courses are released or drop us an email for information on private instruction options.

Day 1:

Beginning by building a solid foundation in map reading (we’ll provide the coffee!), we spend the day in our classroom at Blackheath getting the basics down pat. Together, we will learn the ins and outs, ups and downs of topographic maps - how to read, interpret and fall in love with them. With a ‘no dumb questions’ rule and lots of practical exercises, we’ll cover everything from datums to contours, grid lines and scale. 

You’ll get to know your compass (yours to keep) and be able to answer pressing questions like, ‘What is the difference between grid north, magnetic north and true north?’, ‘What’s the difference between Lat/Long and a grid reference?’, along with understanding declination. 

By the end of this day, you’ll be able to interpret all the features and notations on a topographic map, be able to judge time and pacing and correctly and plan a route in an off-track location. 

Day 2:

Stepping out into the stunning Blue Mountains National Park, we’ll get dirt on our shoes through some practical exercises designed to build your confidence in identifying map features and learning to read the landscape.

Building on yesterday's foundations, we focus on our compii (plural for compasses) with the aim of becoming familiar (and then confident) in its many uses. You’ll learn (and have much practice in) taking bearings, dead reckoning, identifying features and how to use your compass to find out where you are. 

With much of the day spent in practical exercises, by the end of day two, you’ll have combined the knowledge of map reading and interpretation, with compass techniques and practice in ‘reading the land’ and pacing to plan for future off-track adventures.


There are no pre-requisites for this course, however you will need adequate fitness to physically spend a day hiking in moderate off-track terrain.

Meet your instructor - Caro Ryan of Lotsafreshair