ULTIMATE NAVIGATION TRAINING IS GO!
In a world first, a new nationwide school aimed at making you a crack navigator opens its doors this month – and there‘s much more to it than meets the eye...
We want more people to get outside by making sure they feel encouraged, comfortable and, most importantly, safe.
Learning how to navigate is fundamental to staying safe. Now, worldwide navigation expert Lyle Brotherton has launched a new training initiative to help you do just that. The Ultimate Navigation School (UNS) will operate across the UK, adhering to a central syllabus, and is the first navigation course in the world to have all its courses independently accredited.
This is a big deal, as it means that quality is assured (wherever and whenever you take it) and if you pass you’ll receive a certificate of assessment. Credits from this can also be used to gain access to further education or professional development – a first for navigation training.
“It has been an ambition of mine to launch a centre for excellence in navigation, which can both save lives and support the work of organisations I respect and value,” says Lyle. “Navigational errors are the most common cause of mountain accidents and account for around a quarter of all Mountain Rescue call-outs – either directly or as the first link in a chain that can end in disaster.” The course is based on the Ultimate
Navigation Manual – regarded as best practice in the industry and written by Lyle following years of training Mountain Rescue Teams, Special Forces and emergency services around the world. UNS instructors are all either ex-military, Mountain Rescue or DofE National Gold Assessors. “If you can navigate proficiently, it’ll set you free. After a while it becomes second nature, like driving a car. It allows you to relax so you’re able to just enjoy the walk.”
The main aim is to get people outside, with the knowledge and skills to stay safe – you don’t even have to be assessed, you can simply go along to learn. You can start with the basics and move up to more complex navigation. And all training profits go back into the hills via charities Fix the Fells, Mend Our Mountains, the John Muir Trust and the Mountain Bothies Association.
“Our courses suit everyone from hillwalkers through to Mountain Rescue and Special Forces,” says Lyle. “We include satnav basics with map and compass courses and vice versa, as we believe navigators need to use both comfortably and to understand the limitations of each. We want to make sure people are encouraged, feel comfortable and are, most importantly, safe while respecting the environment they walk in. And by coming on our course the profit goes back into the hills!”
Lyle Brotherton Lyle is one of the world’s leading authorities on search and rescue and is Trail‘s navigation expert.