Carry a map of the area in which you are walking -
either 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 in scale and a good compass. Most important, know
how to use the map and compass and have a clear idea of the general trend lines
of the mountain ranges and valleys.
The map. Smaller scale maps than those recommended
have insufficient details to be suitable for mountain walking. Check the date on
which the map was published.
The compass. The most practical compass for mountain
navigation is the 'Silva' type for this combines a compass needle, protractor
and a ruler, all essential for accurate map and compass work.
Map reading. Before venturing into the mountains it
is essential that you should:
Know the meaning of all conventional signs, symbols
and letters found on the map.
Know the meaning and local names for such
topographical features as 'spur', 'ridge', 'col', 'crags' etc.
Understand how the relief of the country is shown on
your map so that you can tell the shape and steepness of any peak or feature.
Contour lines are the most valuable and accurate way of showing this. Practice
reading these in detail as much as possible and check the difference in height
between the contour lines on your map.
Learn how to measure distances on the map and
estimate the time any route will take. A rough guide to this is the following
formula: Distance 04 Km per hour ( or 01 Km in 15 minutes). Plus height 100
meters in 10 minutes ( or loaded parties/ with children: 100 meters in 15
Compass navigation. You should know:
How to set your map so that it corresponds with the
natural features around you.
How to obtain a bearing from the map, change it to a
magnetic bearing and then walk on it, but allowing for the lie of the land.
How to take a magnetic bearing in the hills and how
to identify a feature on the map from such a bearing.
How to pinpoint your own position by taking
It is better to rely on the compass than your own
sense of direction.
Metal objects and photographic exposure meters close
to the compass will affect the magnetic needle.