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The Navigator's Dozen

The 12 most important mountain navigation skills

These are all the skills needed to navigate in the hills (some of the skills overlap with each other).

  1. Setting the Map
  2. Ticking off features
  3. Contour Interpretation
  4. Taking & Following a Compass Bearing (in detail and as a rough guide)
  5. Estimating Distance Travelled by timing and by pacing
  6. Route Choice - Selection of features on the map which can be identified on the ground to create navigational legs along a route that avoids major hazards and is practical to follow
  7. Relocation strategies - in case you lose track of where you are
  8. Identifying catching features so that you will know what the ground will be like if you have overshot your target
  9. Map Scales and measuring distances on the map
  10. Slope Aspect and Direction of Linear Features
  11. Aiming Off, Attack Points, Handrails
  12. Symbols and Grid References




Safety and skills information is provided courtesy of Mountaineering Scotland