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Walkers are Welcome in Boroughbridge: teaching adults to read maps

John from Boroughbridge says   “I’ve already raised the issue of maps and map reading in a previous news item. Basically, do walkers in general want to have a relationship with the local map to the extent of having one with them on a walk and actually consulting it occasionally; or do they simply play “follow my leader” and get on with the walk?
The answer to the question may then lead to a consideration of skills. If there’s the least bit of interest in owning, and using, the local 1:25 000 or 50 000 map, how do we set about teaching them the skills of map reading?  Well, having been encouraged by local WAW people and two who made contact, having read my piece on the WAW web site, I’ve made a start! I flagged up the possibility of free instruction in map/compass work and route finding on our FB page and wondered if there would be a response. Lo and behold, there was! Three people have, to date, expressed a strong interest; so it’s going to happen.
All I report at this stage (there should be much more to follow, once we’ve had our first session (mustn’t call it a lesson!)), is to record the ground rules or parameters, which are as follows:
• Maximum size of group: 3 (preferably 2)
• Each participant must have his/her own 1:25 000 map (I’ve recommended dash4it)
• A map case is strongly recommended
• The session will last not less than one hour and not more than two
• The number of sessions is a matter for me and the group to decide in the future
• KEY POINT – we start outside and get on with a walk, from the word “go”. There is no indoor “theory” session first! “So let’s find where we are on the map; fold it; set it (what was that, John?) and make a move before the weather turns….”

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