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Thread: Lowland leader preparation: tips and suggestions needed.

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    Dec 2015
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    United Kingdom
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    Lowland leader preparation: tips and suggestions needed.

    I have been hiking quite a lot last year, with usually day hikes and occasional 2-day trips.
    I would like to take this hobby to the next level and do a Lowland leadership award in 2017. To do so I would like to do a couple of solo hikes (never slept alone in a tent yet) and would like, to begin with, 1 night, 2-day trip somewhere.
    Since I haven't got much experience in solo I think the best would be to begin closer to home, places like south downs ( I am in London).
    My next step would be another weekend somewhere else, but not too far, with preferably a bit more challenging terrain.
    After that my take is Dartmoor with 2 night hike, then possibly Pembrokeshire coast and in the end- Cumbria way.
    I would love some suggestions where and how to begin, better routes and areas to consider.

    Ivan

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Hi Ivan
    Good luck with the leadership award - it's a good thing to do to increase your confidence, not just if you want to take groups out. I did my Mountain Leader qualification a few years ago - the training for personal development with no intention of going ahead and doing the assessment, but then did the assessment partly for personal satisfaction.
    I'd suggest - to get going - that you look for two day routes that allow you to overnight at a campsite, especially if you've never soloed before, maybe do a couple of them and while you're out on these walks or other day walks, keep an eye out for good wildcamping spots. That'll then give you the confidence to start doing your own route-planning for longer solo routes.
    'Where's the path' is a good website for planning routes - you can get a split-screen view of 1:50k mapping and satellite imagery to give you a good idea of the terrain.

    A couple of days on the South Downs Way or Pembrokeshire coast path would be good - easy nav, then you could look to somewhere more demanding navigationally like Dartmoor.

  3. #3
    Widdler
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    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Übermensch
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    It's worth noting that it's much easier to navigate in lowland countryside using the Explorer 1:25,000 map rather than the Landranger 1:50,000 because the former show field boundaries. Wheresthepath claims to show 1:25,000 mapping but it is 1:50,000 enlarged to 1:25,000 and so field boundaries are not depicted.

    I teach map-reading skills in lowland countryside and would not dream of using anything other than 1:25,000 mapping for navigation although the Landrangers are useful for planning long-distance routes.

    Hugh

    For a preview of the 5th edition of my book The Walker’s Handbook; Everything you Need to Know about Walking in the British Isles click here. Then click on ‘Reviews of The Walker’s Handbook' in the Navigation panel to the right of the illustration of the cover.

  5. #5
    Widdler
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    Dec 2015
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    United Kingdom
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    To date, I have used only 1:25 maps. Thank you for the book recommendation. I am in the process of reading Mountaincraft and leadership but looks like it is a bit more suitable for a higher altitude walks. I would prefer to read more about navigation skills etc.

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