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Essential Skills

Taking a Break
Mountain Lake Reflection
Mountain Hikers
Hikers High Five

5D's of Navigation

5Ds of Navigation.png

The Five D’s


"Every time you plan or navigate from one waypoint to another, you need to consider the 5 D’s

  1. Direction – This could be simply east, north-west or a specific magnetic bearing.

  2. Distance – How far do you have to walk? This could be to the next waypoint or until the next feature.

  3. Duration – How long should this leg take? Use this as a gross error check to see whether a mistake has been made in transit.

  4. Description – What should you be looking out for en-route?  Remember the analogy of a map being a book that you can read.  Highlight features, boundaries or landmarks.

  5. Destination – A description of what your target is at the end of the leg.  This could be a trig pillar, the corner of a wood or a junction in a boundary etc.  It is also useful to highlight any other feature that would indicate an error in your navigation, this is known as a gross error check."

Description of the 5D's taken from article

Map Basics

The Map and How to Use It

In a scale of 1:50,000 :  this means that 1 centimetre on the map equals 50,000 centimetres (or 500 metres) on the ground. Two centimetres on the map is equivalent to 1 kilometre on the ground.


1:25,000:  1cm on map equals 25,000cm (or 250m) on the ground.  4cm on map equals 1km on the ground.  


1:50,000. 1cm = 500m.  2cm=1km


1:25,000.  1cm = 250m.  4cm =1km


So 1:25,000 is more detailed and closer up.  

Grid References

These lines are called ‘eastings’ - along the corridor and northings’ (the horizontal lines) up the stairs and are numbered from 00 to 99 in 100km blocks.

To use the grid lines to identify a location, simply read along the numbers on the eastings first, and then the northings.

Top Tip: If you have trouble remembering the order, say… along the corridor, THEN up the stairs.

This ‘four figure’ grid reference refers to a square 1km by 1km, which is a large area on the ground. It is standard practice to give a six figure grid reference, which identifies a much more usefully-sized square of 100 metres by 100 metres.

For more details visit:

A Beginner's Guide to Grid References

Click Image below for a Guide to Grid References

Grd ref.jpeg
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