Back To Basics Navigation

  • duration:
    1 Day(s)

  • instructors ratio:

  • booking cost:
    £70.00 PP

course info

For many, learning to navigate appears to be a dark art where mysterious forces and people with anoraks wonder the mountains with their heads permanently fixed to a map. Thankfully this is far from the truth and the basic skills you need to navigate are relatively simple to grasp and will ensure you have safer days in the outdoors. Our Back To Basics Navigation Course will take you back to the beginning and give you the skills you need to navigate in a fun and engaging environment.

This course is delivered in the following locations, please check the booking section at the bottom for location details for each specific course. Full meeting location and other important details are sent out once you confirm your place. 

Hope, Peak District (S33 6ZF)

Cannock Chase, Staffordshire (WS15 2UQ)


Course Content -

  • Route planning (Where to find route info and how to plan a day out)
  • Maps and scales (What’s the difference between a 1:25000 map and a 1:50000)
  • Map symbols and features (Learn what all the symbols and markings on a map mean)
  • How height is shown on the map (Masterclass in contours and elevation)
  • How to use the compass.
  • Orientating the map
  • How to use all the skills to navigate a journey

All of the above will be covered outdoors allowing you to learn and then practice all the techniques during our walk.



Our instructors

All of our instructors are highly qualified Mountaineering Instructors or Mountain Leaders who take pride in offering engaging - fun courses that will give you the very best chance of achieving your goals. We are also members of Mountain Training, the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) and the British Mountaineering Council. Why not check out our google reviews and see what our clients think about us. 

Who’s this course aimed at?

Our Back To Basics navigation course is ideal for the beginner or novice who is looking to learn how to read a map and use a compass so they can enjoy the outdoors. You don’t need any prior experience and our small group sizes ensure you will be given a more individual learning experience throughout the day. This course is also ideal for people who have previous experience of using maps and compass but need a refresher of the basic skills after some time away from the outdoors.

This course is a practical day which will involve spending most of the day walking in the outdoors.  A full kit list and meeting location details will be sent once your booking is received.

All participants must be aged 18 or over! 16+ are allowed when accompanied by a parent or guardian.  

course instructors
Matt Cooper
Matt Cooper
Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI)Click here for more information
Charlie Mackie
Charlie Mackie
Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI)Click here for more information

Private Instruction

Can't find what you're looking for? Why not hire an instructor for the day on a date to suit you. Click below for more information.

learn more
  • COURSE DATE 30-07-2022DAYS1 COST£70.00 LOCATIONPeak District PLACESFULL BOOKING Waiting List
  • COURSE DATE 20-08-2022DAYS1 COST£70.00 LOCATIONCannock Chase - Staffs PLACES6 BOOKING book now
  • COURSE DATE 08-10-2022DAYS1 COST£70.00 LOCATIONPeak District PLACES6 BOOKING book now

Hiring one of our instructors privately is the perfect choice when you’ve got a specific aim in mind, whether it’s to improve your personal skills, have an unforgettable guided experience with a group of friends or tick off an objective you’ve had in your sights for a while.

Click on the link for more details


My partner and I booked Matt for two days mountaineering instruction so we could learn how to use ropes on climbs that were out of our comfort zone. We had a fantastic two days and Matts structured approach allowed us to take it all in and practice all the techniques over and over again. We both now feel more confident to take on more adventurous scrambles. Thanks Matt

Andy and karren

Excellent day with matt scrambling over crib coch. Faboulous and patient instructor, highly recommend .

Anne Brown

Fantastic day on the Back to Basics Navigation course with Matt. Very well organised and learnt a lot. Matt was very professional and great at teaching the skills with lots of patience and encouragement. Really enjoyed it and will definitely be signing up to other courses in future. Highly recommended.

Chontelle Wright

A great day out learning how to use a map and compass with Matt. His teaching style gave us just the right amount of information without feeling overloaded. I would highly recommend Matt !


Just got back from a fantastic weekend with Matt on the Welsh 3k and couldn't have asked for a better time. We had blue skies and cool air so it wasn't too hot and the views were simply incredible. Matt set a great pace allowing us to push our limits but never going beyond what we were capable of and we finished in 18 hours 32 mins. Hes a top bloke and I would certainly recommend him and The Mountaineering Company to anybody. Thanks again Matt. You will certainly see us again next year no doubt!

Chris Mansell

We attended a navigation course today with Matt. He was fantastic, can’t rate him highly enough! We had no knowledge at all, but have come home feeling confident and ready to tackle our adventure! Thank you Matt for a fabulous, fun day

Claire Black

I thoroughly recommend Matt as a leader & guide. I experienced an exhilarating & fun day with a super group doing Matt's Ogwen Classics day. Matt managed our mixed levels of ability & confidence with a calm, encouraging, alert & purposeful manner. He inspired confidence through recognition of our efforts & shared his knowledge & experience to support our skill development. The day passed all too quickly!

Ferne Davies

Awesome day with Matt teaching my 11yr old son and I the basics of climbing. Very patient and approachable would highly recommend Matt to anyone with an interest in rock climbing. Really fun day enjoyed by all!

Ian Roberts

All I can say is amazing!! Never scrambled before Matt looked after us supported us though the scary bits and made the whole day brilliant.

Karen Williams

Had a fantastic weekend with Matt on the mountain skills course - he is really friendly + approachable, and tailored the two days to what we enjoyed + wanted to learn. Would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to build their confidence with mountain hiking + navigation!


Recently attended an intermediate rock skills course in the Peak District. Really great weekend and excellent fun. Matt is a top bloke; very knowledgeable and just the right amount of laid back. Allows all the information to really sink in - effective teaching!

Matt Pomfrett

Excellent day out with Matt on my first ever Scramble. I found it pretty tough in places but Matt was always there to put me at ease, offer instruction and with his support I made it to the top. Would highly recommend to others.

Polly Hornby


This course is designed for beginners and people with little or no experience of reading maps or using compasses. We follow a structured approach through the day and all my clients see an improvement in their navigation by the end of the session.

The course aim is to teach you navigation skills not push your physical limits. We normally walk around 6-8 km during the day and have plenty of breaks and stops.

I can provide maps on request but would always recommend buying your own map and Silva Type 4 Compass. For the day you will only require normal hiking gear and waterproofs. A full kit list is sent to you when you book onto the course.

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