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Advanced Navigation Course | Tamarack Outdoors

Advanced Navigation



Come and join the Tamarack team for three days of navigation, using map, compass and many other navigational skills to enhance your outdoor experience.

The course is for those who have good, limited or no previous navigation experience. The course is run from a tented/tarped camp in the Forest of Bowland or, if you prefer, you can travel to and from the course daily.


- Map orientation and use of contours

- Use of attack points, handrails, backstops and tick features

- Unknown point (resection)

- Use of prismatic / sighting and handheld compass

- 4, 6 and 8 figure grid references

- Walking on a bearing and back bearings

- How to navigate confidently in poor visibility

- Use of pacing and Naismiths rule

- Night and day navigation exercises

- Navigation through woodland and open moorland

- Natural navigation: using nature to find the way

- Hill safety and basic contents of a day pack

Brief Itinerary

After meeting at Tamarack Outdoors, we will load our vehicles and  drive 30 minutes to the woodland camp. Here we will walk 500mtrs from the vehicles into the wood and pitch camp. This will be our base for the duration of the course.

On the Friday morning we will start the course concentrating on the basics of map and compass work such as map orientation, use of contours, 6 figure grid references, taking and walking on a bearing etc. The end of the day sees us plotting a route for the Saturday.

On Saturday morning we will walk the route we plotted the day before and iron out any problems while out on the ground. The Saturday afternoon when we return back to camp, we will concentrate on 8 figure grid references, the use of sighting compasses and micro navigation along with plotting our route for Sundays navigation exercise. After our evening meal we will prepare for a night navigation within the local area.

The Sunday sees us leave camp for the day, heading for the Bowland Fells, for the navigation exercise. Here you will put into practice what you have learnt the previous days. The exercise will finish around 15:00 back at our vehicles where the course will end.

Dates & Booking Details
Site & Equipment

Course To Be Arranged

Meet at 18:30 on the Thursday, the course finishes at around 16:00 on the Sunday.

Cost: £150 per person

Price includes tuition and hot & cold drinks. The course does not include food or transport.

Additional Information

Course Size: 4

There is a minimum age limit of 16 for this course. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information on this event or to be added to the reserve list, contact the Tamarack Team on 01995 601011 or via email at


Meet at Tamarack Outdoors at 18:30 on the Thursday, the course will finish at 16:00 on the Sunday.

Directions from the South

- From M6 North bound take junction 32 M55 signposted Fleetwood, Preston North.

- Follow signs for A6 Preston and Garstang.

- At roundabout take the third exit signposted A6 Garstang.

- After 5.5 miles turn right on the B6430, sign posted Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club.

- Follow signs for Ray Lane and the Creamery Industrial Estate.

- Pass Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club.

- Turn right onto Calder House Lane, sign posted Ray Lane Industrial Estate.

- Stay on Calder House Lane, after several bends this turns into Bruna Hill, then into Ray Lane.

- Follow Ray Lane over humped back bridge and under railway bridge.

- Pass under railway bridge and turn immediately left passing the Kenlis Arms on the right.

- Head for signs for the Creamery Industrial Estate.

- On entering the estate, straight in front you, you will find Tamarack Outdoors.

Directions from the North

 - From M6 South bound take Junction 33, signposted A6 Garstang and Fleetwood.

- At the roundabout take first exit, signposted Garstang, Blackpool and Fleetwood.

- After 7.8 miles turn left onto Cock Robin Lane, signed Garstang Country Hotel & Golf Club

- At the end of Cock Robin Lane turn left onto B6430.

- All other directions as from the South.


Overview of the Site

Our site is at 300 meters elevation and you will be working in the shade of the trees, because of this it can feel cool/cold even in the summer months. So please dress warmly, but have the option to layer down if we have fair weather and the woodland is warm. The site is in the North West of England, it often rains. Always use the layering system that is normally used in mountain areas.

Long trousers to be worn at all times, no shorts. There are Ticks on site (as with most such areas over the country) and many activities on the course involve kneeling, sitting and walking through brash. You will be fully briefed on arrival regarding best practise to avoid ticks but long trousers will greatly reduce Tick issues.

The food you bring can be anything from fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, wet or dry packet food. Pay particular attention on how you carry, store and preserve your food when packing, travelling and staying on site. A small coolbox is good for this.

Recommended Course Kit List

The following is a recommended kit list for the course.

The Rucksack

To help you organise and keep kit manageable on route to the site we recommend you use a rucksack or large holdall for the bulk of your equipment.

Hiking Equipment

You will need food and snacks for the duration of the course, a 35-40 litre day pack, stove (Gas or Ethanol), cooking pot or flask for brewing up when we are away from camp. Waterproof and warm clothing, water, head-torch, camera, foam mat to sit on, hat, gloves, scarf along with walking boots or similar. In other words what you would normally carry for a day out in the hills.

Note: Spare clothing once you get back to the car on the Sunday afternoon is also a bonus.

Navigation Equipment

You will need a Silva Type 54 Compass, Romer Card, Tally Counter and OS Map OL41 Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale (laminated is best). Along with a waterproof note book, map case and pencil, also a small calculator can be an advantage but not essential.

Camping Equipment

- Tent, tarp or hammock - 2-3 man tents are advisable, or tarps measuring 4x4 meters approx

- Sleeping Bag - the woods are shaded so pack warm

- Sleeping Mat

- Medication (if applicable)

- Wash kit and towel

- Toilet roll and hand sanitizer

- Insect Repellant

- Gas / Ethanol Stove - fires only allowed in designated areas

- Spare fuel for stove

- Pots/Pans

- Cutlery/Utensils

- Lighter

- Knife - Mora style preferable, click to see example

- Head Torch

- Spare batteries

- Water bottle

- Food and snacks for the full course

- Hat / Gloves / Buff (a pair of work gloves can be useful)

- Clothing for the course

- Spare clothing - optional, for travelling home

- Insulated jacket or warm mid layer

- Waterproof clothing

- Walking boots or wellies or similar

- Notebook and pencil

- Camera

Q: Do I need to be fit ?

You need to be of good fitness, the Saturday and Sunday sees us walking on some very boggy and difficult ground both in the woodland, moorland and at night.

Q: What do I need to bring ?

You will need food and snacks for the duration of the course.

A full list of recommended equipment for this course can be found on the Site & Equipment tab above.

Q: Do I get a discount on any equipment I need for the course ?

Yes, all course participants get a 10% discount on all products purchased at Tamarack for the course.

Q: What if the weather is bad ?

Don't worry about this, the course goes ahead whatever the weather.

Q: I can't make the Friday, but can I come on the Saturday ?

Sorry, full attendance of the course is necessary, even if you have been on another course previously.

Q: Can I bring along alcohol ?

Alcohol and any recreational drugs are not allowed on site for the duration of the course. Anyone found using either, will be removed from the course immediately. However, this does not include any student who is on medication.

Q: Can I bring my dog ?

Sorry, no dogs or pets allowed on site.

Q: What about first aid and anyone having an accident ?

All Tamarack staff are trained and qualified in first aid, with a full comprehensive first aid kit on site. If a student needs to go to hospital, this is a 25 minute drive from site. Risk assessments and emergency procedures are in place for any eventuality.

Q: What about insurance ?

Tamarack hold the relevant insurance to carry out this type of activity. However, it would be an advantage to all students to have there own travel insurance.

Q: What are the toilet facilities like ?

For those staying on site you will have to wash in a bowl or Billy can and go to the toilet in a hole/latrine in the ground, in a discreet area on site which will have been pre-prepared.

Q: How do I get rid of my rubbish ?

That's easy, you brought it in, so you take it out.

Q: What happens now that I have booked and paid for a course?

After you have booked and paid to attend one of our courses you will find all the information you will need within the FAQ or the relevant course page you have booked on. Here you will find dates, timings, meeting point, what kit and food provision you need etc.

One Day Courses - If you have booked on a one day course you will be contacted firstly by telephone one to two weeks prior to the course. If a message has to be left we follow this up with an email. The reason for contacting you is to ensure you are still able to attend and that if you have any further questions or queries regarding the course we can sort this out.

Multiple Day Courses  - If you have booked on a multiple day course you will be contacted firstly by telephone  two months then again one month  prior to the course. If a message has to be left we follow this up with an email. The reason for contacting you is to ensure you are still able to attend and that if you have any further questions or queries regarding the course we can sort this out.


Q: If I have booked and paid for a course and I need to cancel, do I get my money back ?

To see our full course terms and conditions please click here


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