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I haven't read an O/S map since school - is it like riding a bike or do I need to practise a bit first?

(4 Posts)
Lovecat Wed 20-Feb-13 12:20:01

As the title says, I last did O/S map reading in school some... erm... <cough> 30 years ago. Any country walking done since has either been circular pub walks with a guide book, walking with someone who knows the area or on marked trails.

I'm currently planning a walking/cycling trip in the summer with DD, going along part of the Ridgeway and then down into Wiltshire to do some White Horse & Stone Circle spotting.

Whilst the Ridgeway is a 'proper' trail, I'll be needing a map for the other off-piste bits (and probably the Ridgeway itself). Part of me is thinking 'how hard can it be?' while part of me is envisaging wandering about helplessly out of mobile signal range as the buzzards circle...

If it were just me I wouldn't be too bothered but as I will be with my PFB I would hate to get lost/unwittingly trespass/find myself in the middle of an army exercise on Salisbury Plain/etc. so was wondering if you seasoned orienteerers could give some advice?

Is it a good idea to get an O/S map of the local area and do a bit of walking with that first so that I can get a feel for it, or would it make no difference and I'd be as well off just setting off in Wilts? smile

throckenholt Wed 20-Feb-13 12:25:37

yep - get a good scale one of your area and learn to recognise footpaths, field boundaries, rivers, steep slopes etc.

It isn't all that hard - honest smile

Songbird Wed 20-Feb-13 12:33:30

Oh it's a doddle once you get your eye in, don't worry. Get an OS Explorer map (the orange ones) and try short routes first, perhaps take a walk you know well but taking the map with you to familiarise yourself. The map will show open access areas as well as public rights of way if you want to get off the beaten track. It will also show you 'danger areas', ie military training grounds.

Good luck and have fun!!!

Lovecat Wed 20-Feb-13 13:35:31

Thank you! smile Right, that's the rest of this half term sorted...wink I used to love this sort of thing, but have got v. lazy over the years and it all seems bit daunting (but also very excited about the trip!)

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