Lessons From Teaching Navigation

Lessons From Teaching Navigation

During the week I work part time as a health and social care consultant- training, mentoring, interim etc and then at the weekend I work as a professional mountain leader.

Recently I was asked to do some navigation training- for someone who loves being immersed in the mountains but feels unsafe when the think mist descends.  They wanted more confidence to enjoy their exploration whatever the weather.  A good strategy for anyone walking in the Lake District!

Ironically we spent the day in glorious sunshine with perfect visibility, no wind and the previous day’s flooding had completely subsided- the fells were resplendent in their autumn coloured party clothes.  Consequently I spent a lot of the day saying “pretend you can’t see” the path ahead, the cairn stones above or the beck below!  For me navigation is more than map and compass work it is about tuning in- to the ground beneath your feet, to the sound of flowing water, to the increasing wind as one approaches a col.  At a time of increasing anxiety it is important to pause, be still, breathe and tune in.

Add to this good preparatory planning, keeping a check on progress, using objective information (the map and compass are invariably right regardless what our intuition tells us), being equipped for emergencies etc and you will confidence to continue.  To get back on track.

Lots of parallels with the day job…