Practicing pacing and bearings in your local park: part 1

Having participated on navigation courses people want to go away and practice, but often find it difficult in their local area. This exercise is a handy way to hone your skills walking on a bearing and pacing. All you need is a compass and a bit of empty space!

The exercise involves pacing out shapes by changing the bearing after a given distance. The challenge is to arrive back exactly where you started.

It is useful to place something at the start. To begin with this object could be something like a bag but as you get more accurate you may even want to move onto something as small as a coin!

Below are a couple of easy examples (square and triangle) and a more complicated hexagon.

After you have tried these shapes, try making some of your own. When you can happily return to the start every time why not make things more difficult and find another area to practice where the ground is rough or on a slope. The more practice you get in a variety of different terrain types the easier you will find things when you get back out into the mountains.