Ashley Burke's Web Page

Navigation Page

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Welcome to my navigation page!

Navigation is the skill of using a map, a compass and your brain to find you way through wild country where there is no track, trail, signs or other man made navigation aids. This skill is indispensable for the bushwalker, trekker, cross country skier and mountaineer. With it you can find your own way through the country that you are travelling through rather than having to keep to well used signposted routes. Thus it can enable you to enter remoter and more seldom visited areas.

I have put together this web page in an effort to promote and teach the skills of navigation, and thereby help people gain the confidence and independence that this skill provides. This web pages comprises a series of lessons on how to read a topograhic map, how to use a compass and how to use the map and compass together to determine your position on the map and plot a course to get you to your destination. Finally, I include some general navigation tips and techniques that I have learnt over the years in these web pages and summarize them in a table on the last page of this course.

In providing this web page I hope to promote map and compass skills. Modern navigation aids such as satellite navigation systems and geographic positioning systems (GPS) threaten to replace traditional map and compass skills as hand-held GPS units are becoming increasingly relied upon by hikers, trekkers and skiers in everyday situations. Yet the simple skill of using your map and compass is an effective and reliable way of navigating without having to rely on any electronic equipment.

I therefore make no mention of sat nav or GPS technology in this course. I assume that the only resources available to you are your map, your compass and your common sense.

Before we start, a word of caution. Do not venture into remote areas alone or in a group where there are no experienced navigators. Always travel in groups where at least one person has had extensive experience navigation in real outdoor situations. Gain your skills on trips with experienced navigators before attempting to navigate by yourself or with people less experienced than you are.

And finally, you won't learn to navigate just by sitting here browsing a web page. Your skills are not complete until you have practised them in real outdoor situations. The theory of navigation does not take long to learn. The practise can take years of experience to develop. Use the notes on this web page as a starting point and then join a group of experienced walkers to put the skills into practise. If you want you can come on one of my navigation trips and that way you can practise your skills in a real off-track outdoor environment.

Ok, enough of my preamble, to go to the starting page for the course, click the button below.

I also run navigation weekends about once per year. Let me know if you'd be interested in coming along on one of these. Here are links to the trip reports and photos from previous navigation weekends:

2006 navigation weekend trip report

2007 navigation weekend trip report

2008 navigation weekend trip report

2009 navigation weekend trip report

2010 navigation weekend trip report

2011 navigation weekend trip report and photos

2012 navigation weekend trip report

2013 navigation weekend trip report and photos

2014 navigation weekend trip report

2015 navigation weekend trip report

2016 navigation weekend trip report

2017 navigation weekend trip report and photos


Sample photos of what we do on most navigation weekends are here.

If interested in coming on a navigation weekend please email me.


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This page created 12 Jul 2008, last updated 4 Apr 2017.

General Trip Information

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