Map Reading Skills
Map reading is a very useful skill to learn and to have for rambling/walkers and essential in remote and difficult terrain.
Maps can also be used to for escape routes, to assist if you get lost and they can be great fun to plan you own routes.
Plastic map protectors can be easily purchased to protect your maps in bad weather.
The best and most comprehensive walkers’ maps of Britain are the 1:25 000 scale Explorer series in orange covers published by the national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey (OS).
For effective navigation, in addition to the appropriate maps you should carry:
A compass: in lowland areas you could rely purely on map-reading skills, but using map and compass together will help you in wooded and hilly areas. Choose an orienteering or protractor compass with a rectangular baseplate of reasonable size so it can be turned while wearing gloves, and clearly marked km/m scales that can be read in poor light.
A pen or pencil
A reliable watch - one that is waterproof and has a back light is most helpful.
A torch - particularly useful for short winter day walks.
Outdoor wear and walking boots and shoes
This element of walking/rambling is the most important and could easily have its own dedicated web pages! Below are some essentialls when out rambling.
The correct footwear for different seasons is a must but also taking into account the type of walk whether a flat walk or over rugged terrain you should be prepared. There are many types of makes of boots on the market and at varying prices. Waterproof/grip and comfort are major features to look for in your choice.
Clothing is also an essential part of your ramblers equipment. It should be practical and fit for the season. Again such a wide choice is available.
Walking as light as possible is the order of the day but essential equipment may include:
A waterproof rucksack.
Bottle of fresh water or a thermos flask.
Extra clothing including spare socks.
Food/rations including energy foods.
First aid kit.
Fully charged mobile phone. Just an idea but checkpoint where you get a good signal in case you lose yours!
Rambling is a fun, safe and healthy outdoor leisure pursuit but you should never tackle walks that are to difficult for you. Take a sensible approach to weather conditions and always be aware of your surroundings.