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Why learn to read a map when your mobile
phone has a GPS and Google Maps?
Well the main reason is simply that it's fun - can you think of a better way to spend a weekend than doing something fun?

OK it does take a little time to get to grips with real navigation as, at first glance, a detailed map can look quite confusing.  Maps are covered in lines, some of which are perfectly straight and others weirdly shaped and, to make matters worse, they are all different colours. But don’t worry after only a very short time you'll soon become comfortable with the various features.

And what on earth is the compass for? OK everyone knows it points (sort of) northwards, but other than that most people don't really know how to use it. Again, it will all become familiar very soon

Don't forget that navigating around the countryside is very different from finding your way around a town or along a road.

One of the main differences is that in a town or on a road someone in the local council will be helping you. They will have put up signs pointing you in the right direction, they may tell you how far it is to your destination, give you advice on possible diversions and even welcome you when you arrive.

Out in the countryside there are no signs cluttering up the views, there is no one to point out the difference between the hill you're stood on and another only a short walk away. You're on your own and it's up to you to find you way from where you are (if you actually know where you are) to where you want to get to.

That's OK; I'll use my mobile phone !

Hmmmmmm. Maybe, as long as you have a signal, it's not too cloudy or raining, the battery lasts, you're not in a forest, etc.etc.  And even if your lucky enough to have a phone with off-line GPS all it will do is show locations in it's database.

It's quite simple. You can't rely on a mobile phone when walking around the British countryside.

The ONLY way you can navigate safely once you're away from a road or build up area is to learn to use a map and compass and then practice.

So not only will it be fun, it'll open up new areas of Britain which you'll able to visit - safely.