With the rapid growth and use of technology I can’t help but worry about the use of traditional map and compass. There is little doubt that more people are exploring our higher lands armed only with a handheld Gps or a mapping software on their phone.
Viewranger seems the most popular at the present time.
The route you wish to take can be easily downloaded on to the device (phone or gps). It is then followed slavishly for the day. Finding your way around any big city using a Sat Nav is very similar. Maybe it is true you are unlikely to get lost. Having a mapping app is better than nothing. However when the cloud descends and you lose the path it is very easy to lose confidence and panic.
Each of these reasons have a certain validity (some more than others) but there are things you can do to alleviate them.
Many people avoid the mountains because they cannot read a map and use a compass (as a result they graduate to mapping and GPS technology solutions). They feel (correctly if they are on longer and remote walks) that they should not be walking our mountainous areas without the ability to use a map and recover if they become lost.
My suggestion is that they should practice close to home: buy a map of their home territory and go outside and use it! A bit of practice will overcome the fear of the unknown and many people will be competent and comfortable with maps from then
Alternatively book a Navigation Course. I have been holding 1 day Beginner and Intermediate Courses in the Dales for many years. My philosophy has always been to give people the confidence t go further than they have been in the past.
Harvey maps are excellent: they are designed for walkers.
Try them. I still teach on O/S 1.25k Explorer maps which I think are excellent and a great way to learn. However I must admit to using Harvey maps whilst out on my own.
I love the fells, why shouldn’t everybody?
Enjoy your walking
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