Contour Navigation Skills Course

Contour Features | Advanced Navigation Skills Workshop


The power of glaciers over millions of years have sculpted our wild terrain - shown on our maps through the language of contours. Are you using the most trustworthy of map details to their full advantage?

Contour Navigation Skills Course

Location : Peak District

Duration : 1 day

Ratio : 1:6

Minimum age : 13

What's Included :
  • Expert tuition
  • Use of all required navigation equipment
  • Complimentary refreshments
  • Free parking
  • Personalised feedback and development plan
  • 5% of sales go to The Pure Outdoor Foundation

Share Course :


  • Learn to read map contours correctly for ease of navigation
  • Learn how to transfer contour navigation into effective poor visibility navigation
  • Raise the navigation challenge on your future adventures

Course Overview

Strip away all of the detail from the world around you and you are left with the one thing that does not change - the shape of the ground at your feet. Learn how to navigate using the shape of the terrain now before the next glacier wipes the slate clean. On this course we will be using customised maps that have had all the additional details removed allowing you to focus your skills and navigate solely with the contours.

Course Outcomes

  • Develop your contour navigation skills
  • Confidently navigate away from tracks and paths using the shape of the land
  • Choose appropriate contour features as waypoints on your route
  • Learn effective relocation techniques

Course Information


9:30 - 16:30

Get ready to learn everything you need to navigate safely and confidently during a fun and informative day that will focus on boosting your confidence and developing your appreciation of map contours.


Your instructor will welcome you and discuss the aims of the course and you own aspirations over a great cup of fresh Italian coffee or tea.


A brief theory session introducing and refreshing some key skills and discussing key strategies that are relevant to contour navigation. We will discuss Safety in the hills during this session.


You'll need to collect maps and compasses and check that your rucksacks are packed and ready to go.


The exact location will depend on the weather and the aims and abilities of the group. It will usually be within 15 minutes drive of The Adventure Hub. We will travel dressed and ready to walk immediately upon arrival.


Your instructor will demonstrate key basic practical skills and give you the chance to practise before upping the ante with harder contour skills and navigation targets.

Learn how to read the gradient changes on the map and use them for practical navigation.

How to absorb and reflect on contour clues experienced under foot.

How to use the gradient of the ground to navigate swiftly.

Relocation techniques.


As you become more confident your instructor will offer you the chance to consolidate your skills by giving you a remote and suitably challenging target for you to guide the group to. Using you new found knowledge you can plan a route and then execute it. Your instructor will always be on hand to provide support, advice and suggestions.


Once we are off the hill we will return to The Adventure Hub. Here we'll discuss your progress so far and set you some personalised development targets.

  • Standard hillwalking gear including good waterproofs (jackets and trousers)
  • Good quality walking boots/shoes with a good tread
  • A good lunch, supply of snacks and a drink
  • Warm clothing including spare layers, gloves and hat
  • We provide maps and have some compasses available to borrow or buy, do bring your own compass if you have one

A solid foundation in walking and navigating across open moorland is necessary. Experience and confidence moving through steeper or broken terrain is an advantage.

  • As a Certified B Corp, we’re one of a growing number of global businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.
  • Our well-equipped training centre, The Adventure Hub, is Carbon Neutral.
  • We encourage car sharing wherever feasible.
  • We encourage the use of public transport on all our courses. Bamford Railway Station is 5 minutes' walk and we enjoy direct bus connections to Sheffield and nearby villages.
  • We offer free camping kit for guests staying locally and looking to cut down on luggage.
  • Our staff are trained to prolong the life of equipment used on this course, where it is possible to recycle equipment at the end of its life, we do so appropriately.
  • We operate in small teams at low ratios to reduce our impact on the venues we use and other countryside users.
  • We donate 5% of the value of all sales to The Pure Outdoor Foundation.

  • The physical and mental benefits of outdoor activities are numerous and well documented, we firmly believe that those benefits should be available to as many people as possible.

  • If you are interested in experiencing any of our activities but feel unable to do so then please contact us to discuss your specific needs, we will always try to find a solution that works for you.

  • There are a range of simple adaptions we can make to our scheduled courses such as choosing venues with minimal walking or easy access to toilet facilities, providing cold storage facilities for temperature sensitive medications, allowing additional time or arranging for participants to be accompanied by a trusted aide.

  • When participation as part of an open group isn't appropriate we can arrange private tuition. This allows for a more tailored approach and a much wider range of adaptions such as assisted climbing and abseiling techniques for participants with significant physical or mobility issues.

  • If private tuition is unaffordable then we can sometimes offer subsidised places to bring the price back in line with our scheduled courses .These are provided by the Pure Outdoor Foundation whose goal is to bring as many people as possible into the outdoors, please enquire about availability.

  • Clear communication before the activity is crucial so, as well as telephone and email conversations, we can also arrange to meet participants directly at a venue days or weeks beforehand to identify any specific barriers and begin addressing any anxieties.


Start time: 09:30 - Finish time: . Please note, these times are approximate and could be subject to minor changes. Please leave plenty of time when booking public transport.

Anyone aged 13 or over can attend any of our scheduled courses with the exception of Mountain Biking and Winter Skills where the minimum age is 18 unless accompanied by a parent.

We hold an AALA license and are able to take out children who are younger than 13, however we only offer this on a private guided basis. See our private guiding rates, as this can work out very competitive, especially when booking as a family. There is no maximum age, if you feel young enough to attend then you are very welcome!

Stage 1 - You requirements

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