Bob, the navigator – thoughts on maps and navigation

Riverdunking“It was towards the end of the Lake District Mountain Trial, one very wet year when it was held in Eskdale. The river I had to cross was higher than normal and I plunged in carrying my map in my hand, as I wanted to start navigating again as soon as possible on the other side. I was tired and the swift current swept my legs from under me mid-crossing. Flinging my arms out to save myself I registered that the map was spiralling upwards and then downwards, to be taken off to retirement in a watery cartograve. Fortunately, when navigating in such circumstances I tend to look ahead and try to ‘learn’ the broad details of what is to come, which I then refine with finer detail as I go on. I had done enough of that to at least have a reasonable idea of where I needed to go to reach the finish of the event.

So, how do YOU navigate? Is it efficient? Do you practice, or do you just do what you have always done, and hope for the best? These thoughts came to me when planning for a recent trip.”

BGmapsThese are the first two paragraphs of an article I recently wrote for The Fellrunner magazine. The article contains my thoughts on navigation and maps (including using newer ones such as Splashmaps and/or a GPS). It also includes some thoughts on the subject from four notable fell runnners – all Bob Graham Round completers and major endurance record holders.

You can read the full article here: bobnavigatorfull

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