Navigation Introduction

On Wednesday the 15th of June the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students headed out to Dysart for the start of the practical component of our Introduction to Navigation week.  Dysart is beautiful part of rural Tasmania with the clear green rolling hills making it a perfect location for learning the basics of navigation.

We had completed a theory day in the class room and a local park, where we started to learn the basics of maps and using a compass.  However you can’t keep these people in a classroom for long, before they nod off.  With our instructors – Nate Welch and Richard Youd we arrived at the start of our walk – in a farmer’s front yard.  The first challenge of the day turned out to be getting everyone to focus on navigation, with all the farm-yard animals running around.

After we finished patting the lambs and dogs, we started by pacing out 100 meters to get an idea of how fast we walk and so we could use this as a tool for our navigation.  The idea of the first day was to focus on identifying features.  We split into two groups, each with one instructor, which allowed for focused learning.

The next day we headed out to Dysart again with another perfect sunny day where we spent more time on navigating and using our compass. This took us up to some of the highest points which rewarded us with a fantastic view.  From there, we started to take bearings as we headed into the bush.  This threw up new challenges because of the less visibility the scrub provided.  However, all the students still managed to find their way to the desired locations.

The last day we set off for Risdon Brook Reserve.  The idea was to put into practice everything we had learnt that week.  Our first challenge for the day was using a 1:10000 orienteering maps where we had to find different locations marked on the map.  The students were told to prove they had made it to each marker by taking photos of each one, which made for lots of interesting photos at the end of the day.

Our instructors were placed at different points, to give us a variety of tests as we passed through.  All students made it back to the car park with different amounts of success and everyone agreed it was a great learning experience.  In the afternoon we repeated this activity but using 1:25 000 maps instead to markers that had been placed out the day before.  Students had to adjust to the different scale.

Although some found some parts of the week challenging, all agreed that we had achieved our goal of ‘introduction to navigation’.

RTO Code:  60142

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