From the vaults: Navigation techniques… (17/08/2011)

These are many, varied, and the subject of articles, skills courses, even entire books. There’s one I used to adopt on occasions which, since I abandoned it myself, seems to have fallen completely into disuse. 

In simple terms, the strategy was to become slightly lost by virtue of neglecting to consult the map. This was followed by a period of denial, during which it was still considered unnecessary to refer to the map on the basis that it was only a matter of time before I recognised some prominent landmark. Phase three involved accepting that I didn’t have a clue where I was but my own inner compass would somehow prevail over the unfamiliar terrain*.
The final part involved a pathetic figure, nervously unfolding a OS Explorer or Landranger, praying to the god of the hills that he hadn’t actually walked off the edge of its coverage.
As I said, it’s a technique I no longer use. Anyone who’s tried it will understand the reasons for that; my advice to anyone who hasn’t is that it’s probably best avoided in favour of the more conventional approaches to navigation.
* There was no body of evidence to support this proposition, but… well, you know how it is with men.
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