Advanced Navigation Course

Advanced Navigation Course

Would you love to have the skills to venture out into the wilder areas of the British Isles, but the fear of getting lost is holding you back? Maybe you’re a keen walker, but are limited in where and when you can go due to a lack of confidence in your navigation skills? It’s fair to say that the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in the UK is often the most difficult to navigate.

Whether you are a complete beginner or a competent navigator, Fitways Adventures have the perfect course for you. Our leaders pride themselves in taking the mystery out of navigation and will explain things in a simple and logical manner so you go away with the confidence and skills required to set out on your own.

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Corporate trip


“An epic first day, battling the torrential conditions for 6 hours but we were all kept in high spirits and there was chocolate a plenty for extra motivation! I learned a vast amount in the first few hours and as the day went on, I felt more and more confident with my actions. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges we faced and working together to venture in to and out of the mountains. There was a great integration in the team and we were given the chance to compile our own journey on the second day and really use our newly acquired navigation skills to the max. Nick was the perfect host; very motivational and incredibly knowledgeable. I feel confident to go out and challenge myself to navigate my own walks and will definitely be joining Nick and the team on the hills for many more adventures to come.”


Daily walking time:
Max team size:
Maximum of 7 Clients per Instructor

Note – The group size for this trip is 5 – 14 people

Who suits this trip:  You’ll need a basic knowledge of navigation and some experience using a map & compass to come on this course, if you’re a beginner then take a look at our Beginner Navigation Course

Who the course is for:

This course is ideal for people who know the basics of navigation and would like to improve their skills. You may be a bit rusty (as a result of appalling weather) and would like to refresh you skills, or perhaps you feel confident getting around in good weather, but things have a tendency to go wrong when the mist comes in.

Course Location

The courses detailed are scheduled to be delivered in the Brecon Beacons. However, we would be delighted to run navigation courses in other regions such as Snowdonia, The Lake District or an area of your choice.  If you would like to discuss course options in other locations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why Attend a Mountain Training Day?

There is a saying in mountaineering that the best way to prepare for climbing a mountain is to climb a mountain. While training in a gym, or going for long walks on the flat is good for developing base fitness, there is no replacement for spending several hours on terrain similar to what you will encounter during an event.  A summary of the benefits of attending a mountain training day has been listed below:

It will give you an opportunity to select and test out your equipment.  This is particularly important with footwear – while you may have no problems with your boots when walking for several hours on flat terrain, blisters can quickly appear when trekking up and down steep terrain.

You will be able to fine-tune your nutrition and hydration strategy.  This is extremely important for endurance events.  You will also have the opportunity to discuss this in more detail with your Group Leader who will be able to advise you on the optimum approach.

You will be trekking on steep terrain for between 5-7 hours. This is not really possible to replicate in a gym.

People frequently overestimate their fitness levels.  Mountain training days will give you (and your leader) the opportunity to objectively assess exactly where you are.  By knowing this well in advance, you can then implement a training program that will ensure you are sufficiently prepared for whatever it is you’ve set your mind on.

Hints and tips. We will show you how to save time and improve efficiency when on the mountains.

Excellent preparation for a team event. If you are preparing for a team challenge, mountain training days are an excellent way of building the team and give you experience in working alongside your fellow team members.

They are a fantastic day out. Keep in mind you will be training in some of the most beautiful areas of the British Isles.

Course content

  • Understanding maps (scales, keys, contour lines)
  • Access rights
  • Route planning – off paths
  • Emergency procedures
  • Recap of Navigation fundamentals
  • Map & Compass
  • Taking a bearing from the map and walking on it
  • Route planning using a map
  • Grid references
  • Pacing and timing
  • Map orientation with and without the use of a compass
  • Navigational strategies (hand railing, aiming off, attack points etc.)
  • Using a GPS (how to work out your position on a map using a GPS)
  • Switching between different maps (& scales)
  • Relocation skills
  • Estimation of distance
  • Macro & Micro Navigation
  • Night Navigation (2 day course only)

Day 1

The first day we will cover the course content listed above. After dinner, we will head back out into the mountains to practice the skills we have learned in darkness. This is a great skill to develop as it will give you the confidence to head out on your own whatever the conditions.

Day 2

During the 2nd day we will practice the skills we learned the previous day/evening. During this day, we will take a real mountain walk, which you will plan (using a map) and take turns leading the group along the walk.  Much of this day will be spent away from paths – giving you the opportunity to really hone you skills. Your course instructor will be on hand to help out at any stage, and will set you a number of fun navigational challenges to drive home the skills you have learned.  While the courses will be delivered in an extremely professional manner (the core of Fitways Adventures) you will be encouraged to have fun while out on the hills – that’s why we do it, right?

Included in the price

  • Pick up en route between Maidenhead and the Brecon Beacons (M4 & A470)
  • Safety Briefing
  • Packed Lunch & snacks
  • Navigation Instructor – Fully qualified Mountain Leader
  • Comprehensive navigation course as described
  • Bed and breakfast (shared rooms – usually twin)
  • 15% Cotswold Outdoors discount voucher
  • Drop off en route between the Brecon Beacons and Maidenhead (M4 & A470)

Not included

  • Breakfast and dinner on day 1

Course timings & logistics

The course will commence at Storey Arms Car Park (LD3 8NL) at 10.00am. The course will finish at approximately 4.00pm on day 2. The Fitways Adventures team will be leaving Maidenhead at 6.15am on day 1 and would be delighted to pick up course attendees en route (M4, A470).  We would also be able to drop you off when the course has ended on day 2.  Please do take advantage of this service – both from an environmental perspective and of course cost – see the Travel & Logistics tab.


For this course, we will be using the following maps:

OS 1:25k Explorer Series OL 12 Brecon Beacons National Park / Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog

OS 1:50k Landranger Series 160 Brecon Beacons / Bannau Brycheiniog

Travel & Logistics

Our package includes transport; we would be delighted to pick you up in our comfortable vehicle en route between maidenhead and the event location. We encourage you to take advantage of this service – both from a cost and environmental perspective. Alternatively, you can meet your Mountain Leader at the start of the event – full details (with directions & parking information) will be communicated in advance of the event.

Travel to the Brecon Beacons

Depart Maidenhead:  6.15am
Arrive Brecon Beacons:  9.30am

The Route we will be taking:

M4 Maidenhead to Cardiff (Junction 8 – 32)
A470 Cardiff to Brecon

Locations to consider

  • Reading Services  (M4, Junction 11-12)  RG30 3UQ
  • Membury Services  (M4, Junction 14-15)  RG17 7TZ
  • Chieveley Services  (M4, Junction 13)  RG189XX
  • Magor Services  (M4, Junction 23A)  NP26 3YL

Note: If you would like us to collect you from an alternative location, please contact us to discuss options.

Driving independently to the Brecon Beacons Start Point

The course meeting point will be the car park on the far side of the forestry plantation from the Storey Arms (SN 983203 or post code LD3 8NL), which is on the A470 between Brecon to the north and Merthyr Tudful to the south.

If coming from the south i.e. if you’re coming along the M4, take Junction 32 (ST 142 816) near Cardiff and head north along the dual carriageway, the A470, to Merthyr Tudful. At Merthyr, there is a roundabout which has four exits; take the second exit and stay on the A470 which at that point is no longer a dual carriageway (SO 028 077), for around 10 miles to the car park which is located on the opposite side of the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre.

If you are parking in this area, make sure you lock your car and hide all valuables. It is well known in the mountaineering community that these remote car parks provide easy picking for thieves, so preferably leave valuables at home or at least hidden from view.

Equipment list – what to bring

  • Small notepad and pencil
  • Map & Compass – we can provide these, but it’s a good idea to have your own.
  • Warm Hat (covering ears)
  • Gloves
  • Quality Waterproofs (Jacket & Trousers)
  • Backpack (ensure your gear is in a waterproof bag) Suggest 30 – 40 Litre
  • Blister plasters (we have found Compeed to be very effective)
  • Sunglasses
  • Head torch (Required for 2 day courses only)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Flask of hot drink (optional)
  • Walking boots
  • Walking trousers – no jeans
  • Base Layer (T-shirt or long-sleeved top – not cotton)
  • Sports top or fleece (not cotton)
  • Spare warm top (jumper or 2nd fleece)
  • Water Bottle (1–2 Litres)

Equipment to be worn on the hill

  • Walking boots & socks
  • Walking trousers – no jeans
  • Base Layer (T-shirt or long-sleeved top – not cotton)
  • Sports top or fleece (not cotton)
  • Windproof jacket

Stuff to leave in the van

  • Change of clothes

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