What’s the best way to learn map and compass skills?

Learning complex new skills, and getting outside more often both help us to age well. So what better way to combine the two than to learn some map and compass skills.

A double whammy you might say.

Never too old to learn

Learning to navigate using a map and compass in my forties has given me so much more than the ability to find my way when I’m lost. It’s given me the confidence to explore, a renewed interest in outdoor exercise, and a whole new career in outdoor writing.

It’s also stopped me from getting lost in the first place.

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What did you do on New Year’s Eve? I went wild camping on Dartmoor

Leaving the comfort of a warm campervan to ‘sleep’ in a sloping, wind-bent tent might not seem like everybody’s idea of a New Year’s Eve party but, for Mr D and I, it was the perfect way to end a year, which hasn’t contained quite as many outdoor adventures as we would have liked it to.

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On the topic of hill walking – ‘Not one of your route marches!’

It should go without saying that an outdoor writer needs to enjoy being outside. Not only that but if you’re going to be writing walking routes for other people, it makes sense to enjoy a bit of walking yourself.

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Outdoor writing – how to write children’s walks

Planning and writing walking routes can be really rewarding but some types of walks take more research and thought than others. I would definitely say that family walking trails are an example of this.  Not only do you need to make sure the basics such as a good route map, and accurate walking instructions are in place, you also need to pay careful attention to the specifics.

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We all love outdoor gear but is it costing us the planet?

There’s an abundance of information out there about climate change and what we can all do to help stop it. So much so that, for those of us who want to make a difference, it’s relatively easy to select an aspect for change that won’t have too much impact on the way we live our lives.

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Life on the edge. Why we feel drawn to outdoor liminal spaces

It was only a couple of years ago that a friend first introduced me to the word ‘liminal’. We were standing on a golden sandy beach, in the middle of London.

She slipped off her shoes (I suspect not something you see often on the Southbank), and headed for the liminal line where sand met murky Thames water. Literally a line in the sand.

What does liminal space mean?

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Peel the acorns and pass the mulberries

Mr D recently accused me (in humorous tones) of feeding him acorns. He’s not far wrong because I’ve developed a somewhat disconcerting (even to me) habit of including as many strange locally foraged edibles as possible into our diet.

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Five ways social media is lying to us about the outdoors

‘Social media is toxic’, ‘social media is fake’, ‘social media is bad for your mental health’.

How many times have you heard (and perhaps agreed with) those statements? The truth however is more complicated. Social media is a tool, and like any tool it’s how you use it that matters.

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How possible is it to adventure by public transport in the UK?

When did you last opt for public transport instead of the car?

Over the last couple of years the statistics for public transport use have made interesting reading. In 2019 84% we in Great Britain travelled 873 billion passenger kilometres (that’s 22 million times around the world). 84% of these kilometres were in cars, vans or taxis.

Journeys for work, leisure and adventure.

Some of these journeys will have been for work but many will also have been for leisure. For those of us who love outdoor adventures, access to our favourite outdoor spaces has become synonymous with jumping in the car (or more recently the camper van).

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Promoting a destination? Make sure you don’t miss out on its stories.

It’s half term down here in the Southwest. Both Dartmoor and Torbay are full of happy visitors, and I’ve been doing a bit of amateur tourism research.

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