Most people will be quite confident of their land navigation skills on a warm, clear, summer’s day or while following a well-marked footpath. The problem is that these scenarios often do not last long: the weather can change in an alarmingly brief time, signs run out, tracks disappear or are impassable.
There is only one way to be really confident in navigating in all conditions, and that is to learn the techniques of micronavigation which are similar to the techniques used in orienteering. With practice, you will soon be able to navigate to all sorts of tiny features on the map – even the smallest kink in a contour line – in poor visibility from fog to night-time. Micronavigation is a key skill for anyone who wishes to navigate competently and safely.
Micronavigation builds upon your innate ability to create a greater awareness of your immediate environment, using your senses of sight, sound, smell and touch and relating this information to the use of robust and reliable non-specialist equipment: a map and baseplate compass, such as the Suunto M3.
Micronavigation can also be augmented with, yet is not dependent upon: altimeters, celestial navigation, environmental navigation and global navigation systems (GNSS/GPS) such as Garmin Etrex or Satmap A10+.
It is an easily learned system and used by all groups: Ramblers & Hill Walkers, Duke of Edinburgh students, Mountaineers through to Mountain Rescue and Search & Rescue responders.
My raison d’être in writing this book has been to make passage on foot safer for anyone, anywhere and at anytime in the world. I sincerley hope this site encourages you to learn this system.