Author Topic: 59 degrees North  (Read 3707 times)

MalcolmHandoll

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59 degrees North
« on: January 07, 2012, 05:50:40 PM »
Hello from the Orkney Islands. I am a nomadic instructor.

I specialise in teaching Natural Navigation, night nav, micro-nav, map and compass work and low tech emergency methods.

I used to teach navigation in Wales before moving to Scotland in 1997. Did my ML training at Plas-y-Brenin and assessment at Glenmore Lodge. I have a degree in Geography, and am a member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning. Also can claim FRGS.

My particular interests are celestial navigation, barefoot walking, survival skills, bushcraft, walking tour leader (UK). I am considered an expert at making fire by friction in wet and windy conditions - and in land navigation.

I have never used a GPS - and for fun I like to find geocached stuff using only memory of the 8-figure grid ref and deduction.

Spent much of my childhood orienteering before progressing to mountain leadership and teaching micro-navigation.

My pacing under ideal conditions is 54.

I am married with a little boy, born 2011.
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Egg

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 06:59:36 PM »
Hi Malcolm...

Welcome to the forum.
Given your amazing array of skills and experience I'm looking forward to hearing your views in the discussions.

I often get asked about Natural Navigation by my students, apart from doing a course, is there any decent literature on the subject.

Cheers

Bob
Everyday's a school day...

sniperkona

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 08:28:28 PM »
you must be 6ft 1?
am i close?

Skills4Survival

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 12:19:07 PM »
I have two specific books on the topic:

- Tristan Cooley; natural navigator
- Gatty: finding your way without maps or compass

For me, it is the combination of signs which gives you reasonable accuracy, to be honest I am not too good at it, outside the common things like prevailing wind direction, moss on trees and things related to these two. Some of the examples mentioned in the book of Cooley I have a hard time following the science of it and sometimes the "coincidence probability" is a bit in the high side for me but maybe still too sceptical. Usage of the sun, moon and stars I do value a lot and they give good accuracy as well. Night navigation I do not have a lot of experience with in relation to using stars.

I enclosed a list of books and other things I have, not up-to-date, in the meantime I obtained several books.

@ moderator: 128kb is a bit small as a file max. in this day and age...?




Hi Malcolm...

Welcome to the forum.
Given your amazing array of skills and experience I'm looking forward to hearing your views in the discussions.

I often get asked about Natural Navigation by my students, apart from doing a course, is there any decent literature on the subject.

Cheers

Bob
Ivo

MalcolmHandoll

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 01:57:20 PM »
Hello,

The two books mentioned above are the best starting point. Tristan's is the more recent and more comprehensive. He also has a comprehensive bibliography which you can use if a particular section grabs you. Harold's is a joy, one to have on your shelf. There are others but they will complicate matters.

Note: Tristan is publishing a follow up book in March, the Natural Explorer.

You can get a vast amount of info off the internet now, for free, especially regarding celestial navigation. The NASA links are handy too. I think it best to look at a few of these websites for free at the same time as popping outdoors regularly at night, to observe. Any excuse to get out at night, headtorch, map and compass at the ready. There are free apps for android such as Google sky maps, which make learning a lot easier.

Regarding plants and wind, you need to know local conditions and this comes with observation. As Tristan says, this is art, not science. I think the more we use technology the harder it is to tune in to the subtleties of nature but it is still worth trying. Much overlooked is the effect of the Sun. I think grasping the apparent behaviour of the Sun and thus its influences upon the Earth's surface is the biggest advance we can make in natural navigation.

I am 6'2".

Always more to learn  :D
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Lyle Brotherton

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 02:57:05 PM »
Welcome aboard Malcolm, you live in a part of the world very close to my heart about which I will write more later, currently taking down Christmas decorations :(

“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

MalcolmHandoll

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 03:10:24 PM »
Tree and decorations are down. Seemed like a good activity for a rainy Sunday.
(I am always keen to talk about Orkney).
I look forward to getting to know some of you, and helping this forum grow into a useful resource for outdoor navigators (should be everyone). After all, good navigation saves lives.

Any orienteers out there?

M
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Callum

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 09:01:00 AM »
Hi Malcolm, good to have another nav-addict sign up, I had no idea there were so many of us ;)

Like you had not (properly) used satnav until having bought UNM. We carried them – I work at an outward-bound centre - to get a grid reference if we got lost. Now we issue basic models as standard to the kids who we first instruct about trackback if they get lost.

Borrowed a top of the range model for use in Norway this winter, the Satmap A10+, only to find that its screen could not be viewed in the bright light caused by the reflection of the sun on the snow so used trusty Silva Expedition with paper maps.

Q. Is this common to all satnav screens?

MalcolmHandoll

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Re: 59 degrees North
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 05:27:34 PM »
Hi Callum,
Good to read your message. What part of the country is your Outdoor centre?
Aye, I confess to being obsessed with navigation.  :-[
I would explore the world of satnav if I had a GPS to try out but I cannot justify the expense right now.
It is amazing how quickly the technology is developing. After all, when I learnt to navigate there was just map and compass - and a watch. The internet didn't exist. Mobile phones didn't exist. I used to work for the European Space Agency (so I know a bit about remote sensing and geo-stationary satellites).
If anyone ever feels like lending a GPS to me, for my education, I would be very happy indeed.  ;D
Until that day, I have to specialise as an old timer.
Cheers
Five Senses - feel good outdoors