Sign inSign in with Facebook
Sign inSign in with Google

Skills for the Hills: Do you know where you are going??

 
Have you ever relied on a friend's map reading to get you to the top of a hill and wondered what you would have done if you had been on your own? Ever cursed a mobile phone app for suddenly dying on a cold day near the summit or felt the directions in that route guide simply do not match what you are seeing on the ground? Would you feel confident with a map and compass or are you reliant on your GPS?
 
Test your navigation skills and knowledge in our 14 question quiz and find out if you're good to go or just get lost, where to get some advice and help or whether you might benefit from a bit of training!
 
Have you ever relied on a friend's map reading to get you to the top of a hill and wondered what you would have done if you had been on your own? Ever cursed a mobile phone app for suddenly dying on a cold day near the summit or felt the directions in that route guide simply do not match what you are seeing on the ground? Would you feel confident with a map and compass or are you reliant on your GPS?
 
Test your navigation skills and knowledge in our 14 question quiz and find out if you're good to go or just get lost, where to get some advice and help or whether you might benefit from a bit of training!
1 / 14: Three of you are going out for a day in the hills. How do you decide who should do the navigation?
Jane should do it, she was on a course last year and is the most experienced...
Jim should do it, he got lost last week so he needs the practice...
You should all pay attention to the navigation...
Do it yourself, after all if you want a job done properly...
Well done!
 
Jim obviously needs a bit of learning as well as practice. Jane may not get you lost, but if anything happens to her, or if you get separated, then what’ll you do? Everyone should be paying attention to the navigation, either to advise or to learn. Being aware of where you are and where you are going also adds to your confidence and enjoyment too.
Well done!
 
Jim obviously needs a bit of learning as well as practice. Jane may not get you lost, but if anything happens to her, or if you get separated, then what’ll you do? Everyone should be paying attention to the navigation, either to advise or to learn. Being aware of where you are and where you are going also adds to your confidence and enjoyment too.
Wrong :( 
 
Jim obviously needs a bit of learning as well as practice. Jane may not get you lost, but if anything happens to her, or if you get separated, then what’ll you do? Everyone should be paying attention to the navigation, either to advise or to learn. Being aware of where you are and where you are going also adds to your confidence and enjoyment.
Wrong :( 
 
Jim obviously needs a bit of learning as well as practice. Jane may not get you lost, but if anything happens to her, or if you get separated, then what’ll you do? Everyone should be paying attention to the navigation, either to advise or to learn. Being aware of where you are and where you are going also adds to your confidence and enjoyment.
2 / 14: You are the last to leave the summit cairn and you can't remember which direction you came up, what do you do?
Look! There's a path. You can follow that.
Wait at the cairn until someone else comes along and follow them.
Get your map and compass out, check where you are, where you want to go and use them to navigate there.
Walk over to each side of the summit to see which terrain looks the least steep.
Well done!
 
Of course the answer is to use your map and compass. A path might lead anywhere, it could be hours – or longer – before anyone who can help turns up and an easy slope might be hiding some crags or cliffs further down the hill, so, its always worth a check.
 
This does assume you took the trouble to learn how to use that map and compass though... Read on to test what you know!
Well done!
 
Of course the answer is to use your map and compass. A path might lead anywhere, it could be hours – or longer – before anyone who can help turns up and an easy slope might be hiding some crags or cliffs further down the hill, so, its always worth a check.
 
This does assume you took the trouble to learn how to use that map and compass though... Read on to test what you know!
Wrong :(
 
The answer, of course is to use your map and compass. A path might lead anywhere, it could be hours – or longer – before anyone who can help turns up and an easy slope might be hiding some crags or cliffs further down the hill, so, its always worth a check.
 
This does assume you took the trouble to learn how to use that map and compass though... Read on to test what you know!
Wrong :(
 
The answer, of course is to use your map and compass. A path might lead anywhere, it could be hours – or longer – before anyone who can help turns up and an easy slope might be hiding some crags or cliffs further down the hill, so, its always worth a check.
 
This does assume you took the trouble to learn how to use that map and compass though... Read on to test what you know!
3 / 14: What size area does a grid square cover on a 1:50000, 1:40000 and 1:25000 map?
One square mile
One square kilometre
One hectare
Different distance depending on the scale of the map
Well done!
 
Both Ordnance Survey & Harvey Maps use exactly the same grid system; they all represent a 1km square regardless of the scale used.
 
So...
  • 1:50000 = 1cm equates to 50,000 cm on the ground (500m) and 1km = 2cm on the map
  • 1:40000 = 1cm equates to 40,000 cm on the ground (400m) and 1km = 2.5cm on the map
  • 1:25000 = 1cm equates to 25,000 cm on the ground (250m) and 1km = 4cm on the map
 
Tip: 
  • Check out the Romer scale on your compass to help measure distance on a map, depending on which scale of map you are using.
Well done!
 
Both Ordnance Survey & Harvey Maps use exactly the same grid system; they all represent a 1km square regardless of the scale used.
 
So...
  • 1:50000 = 1cm equates to 50,000 cm on the ground (500m) and 1km = 2cm on the map
  • 1:40000 = 1cm equates to 40,000 cm on the ground (400m) and 1km = 2.5cm on the map
  • 1:25000 = 1cm equates to 25,000 cm on the ground (250m) and 1km = 4cm on the map
 
Tip: 
  • Check out the Romer scale on your compass to help measure distance on a map, depending on which scale of map you are using.
Wrong :(
 
Both Ordnance Survey & Harvey Maps use exactly the same grid system; they all represent a 1km square regardless of the scale used.
 
So...
  • 1:50000 = 1cm equates to 50,000 cm on the ground (500m) and 1km = 2cm on the map
  • 1:40000 = 1cm equates to 40,000 cm on the ground (400m) and 1km = 2.5cm on the map
  • 1:25000 = 1cm equates to 25,000 cm on the ground (250m) and 1km = 4cm on the map
 
Tip: 
  • Check out the Romer scale on your compass to help measure distance on a map, with measuring bars tailored to the different scales of map 
 
Wrong :(
 
Both Ordnance Survey & Harvey Maps use exactly the same grid system; they all represent a 1km square regardless of the scale used.
 
So...
  • 1:50000 = 1cm equates to 50,000 cm on the ground (500m) and 1km = 2cm on the map
  • 1:40000 = 1cm equates to 40,000 cm on the ground (400m) and 1km = 2.5cm on the map
  • 1:25000 = 1cm equates to 25,000 cm on the ground (250m) and 1km = 4cm on the map
 
Tip: 
  • Check out the Romer scale on your compass to help measure distance on a map, with measuring bars tailored to the different scales of map 
 
4 / 14: How do you choose which type of map is best for hill walking and climbing?
Pick the least detailed scale - you'll get more mountains for your money
Depends on the walk/climb - some routes might benefit from more/less information
Go for one that is weather-proof to avoid getting damaged in wet or windy conditions
Whichever one is on special offer
Well done!
 
While the price, durability and familiarity of a map might be factors in your choice - your route location, distance and complexity will often suit a particular map scale and design as they all offer different features.
 
Tip:
  • For a bit more advice to help de-mystify map choice, watch this handy video from Glenmore Lodge:
 
Well done!
 
While the price, durability and familiarity of a map might be factors in your choice - your route location, distance and complexity will often suit a particular map scale and design as they all offer different features.
 
Tip:
  • For a bit more advice to help de-mystify map choice, watch this handy video from Glenmore Lodge:
 
Not really...
 
While the price, durability and familiarity of a map might be factors in your choice - your route location, distance and complexity will often suit a particular map scale and design as they all offer different features.
 
Tip:
  • For a bit more advice to help de-mystify map choice, watch this handy video from Glenmore Lodge:
 
Not really...
 
While the price, durability and familiarity of a map might be factors in your choice - your route location, distance and complexity will often suit a particular map scale and design as they all offer different features.
 
Tip:
  • For a bit more advice to help de-mystify map choice, watch this handy video from Glenmore Lodge:
 
5 / 14: Grid references are what you use when you want to pin point where you are or locate a feature mentioned in a route guide. When reading off a grid reference from a map, which numbers should you read first?
It doesn't matter which comes first
Numbers up the side (northings)
Numbers along the bottom (eastings)
Depends on the make of map
Well done!
 
Giving and finding grid references is a really useful navigation skill - great to locate interesting features or explain to a friend where you, and essential if you are caught out in an emergency. 
 
You read the numbers running horizontally along the bottom of the map first, followed by the numbers running vertically up the sides. Again, the Romer scale is handy for measuring the third and sixth digit, depending on the scale of map you are using.
 
Tip:
Well done!
 
Giving and finding grid references is a really useful navigation skill - great to locate interesting features or explain to a friend where you, and essential if you are caught out in an emergency. 
 
You read the numbers running horizontally along the bottom of the map first, followed by the numbers running vertically up the sides. Again, the Romer scale is handy for measuring the third and sixth digit, depending on the scale of map you are using.
 
Tip:
Wrong :(
 
Giving and finding grid references is a really useful navigation skill - great to locate interesting features or explain to a friend where you, and essential if you are caught out in an emergency. 
 
You read the numbers running horizontally along the bottom of the map first, followed by the numbers running vertically up the sides. Again, the Romer scale is handy for measuring the third and sixth digit, depending on the scale of map you are using.
 
Wrong :(
 
Giving and finding grid references is a really useful navigation skill - great to locate interesting features or explain to a friend where you, and essential if you are caught out in an emergency. 
 
You read the numbers running horizontally along the bottom of the map first, followed by the numbers running vertically up the sides. Again, the Romer scale is handy for measuring the third and sixth digit, depending on the scale of map you are using.
 
6 / 14: So, what is the six figure grid reference here for the summit of Ben Alder?!
718496
496718
496722
504712
Well done!
 
Try to remember: "along the corridor and up the stairs".
 
Work out the 1km grid box location 49_71_ then create your six figure grid reference by filling in the gaps by estimating the summit location within that 1km grid box. Use your Romer scale on a compass to help with accuracy. This gives you 496718!
 
Well done!
 
Try to remember: "along the corridor and up the stairs".
 
Work out the 1km grid box location 49_71_ then create your six figure grid reference by filling in the gaps by estimating the summit location within that 1km grid box. Use your Romer scale on a compass to help with accuracy. This gives you 496718!
 
Wrong :(
 
Try to remember: "along the corridor and up the stairs".
 
Work out the 1km grid box location 49_71_ then create your six figure grid reference by filling in the gaps by estimating the summit location within that 1km grid box. Use your Romer scale on a compass to help with accuracy. This gives you 496718!
 
Wrong :(
 
Try to remember: "along the corridor and up the stairs".
 
Work out the 1km grid box location 49_71_ then create your six figure grid reference by filling in the gaps by estimating the summit location within that 1km grid box. Use your Romer scale on a compass to help with accuracy. This gives you 496718!
 
7 / 14: Contours on maps show the relief and shape of the ground, linking equal height above sea level. What is the vertical height distance or 'interval' between contours on an Ordnance Survey map?
1 metre
10 metres
15 metres
50 metres
100 metres
Well done!

On some of the OS 1:25 000 maps 5 metre contours have also been introduced e.g. on the new edition for the Campsie Fells. Harvey Maps always have 15 metre contour intervals.

To help highlight the relief of the ground and make it easier to assess height gain or loss, index contours are marked in a thicker bold line every 50 metres on OS maps and every 75 metres on Harvey maps. Harvey maps use grey as well as brown contour lines to highlight predominantly rocky ground. 

 
Tip:
Well done!

On some of the OS 1:25 000 maps 5 metre contours have also been introduced e.g. on the new edition for the Campsie Fells. Harvey Maps always have 15 metre contour intervals.

To help highlight the relief of the ground and make it easier to assess height gain or loss, index contours are marked in a thicker bold line every 50 metres on OS maps and every 75 metres on Harvey maps. Harvey maps use grey as well as brown contour lines to highlight predominantly rocky ground. 

 
Tip:
Wrong :(
 

Contours appear every 10 metres on OS maps. On some of the OS 1:25 000 maps 5 metre contours have also been introduced e.g. on the new edition for the Campsie Fells. Harvey Maps always have 15 metre contour intervals.

 

To help highlight the relief of the ground and make it easier to assess height gain or loss, index contours are marked in a thicker bold line every 50 metres on OS maps and every 75 metres on Harvey maps. Harvey maps use grey as well as brown contour lines to highlight predominantly rocky ground. 

 
Tip:
Wrong :(
 

Contours appear every 10 metres on OS maps. On some of the OS 1:25 000 maps 5 metre contours have also been introduced e.g. on the new edition for the Campsie Fells. Harvey Maps always have 15 metre contour intervals.

 

To help highlight the relief of the ground and make it easier to assess height gain or loss, index contours are marked in a thicker bold line every 50 metres on OS maps and every 75 metres on Harvey maps. Harvey maps use grey as well as brown contour lines to highlight predominantly rocky ground. 

 
Tip:
8 / 14: What does it mean to 'set' or 'orientate' your map?
Familiarising yourself with the key on the side of the map to ensure you recognise all the symbols
Checking that you have the right map and a working compass with you before you set off on a walk
The way you fold your map to ensure you can see your whole walking route when it is in the map case.
Lining up north on your map with north on the compass to see how features on the map fit in with the ground around you.
Well done!
 
Having your map ‘orientated’ is the foundation to understanding navigation and learning how to relate the map to the ground and visa versa. Setting the map is the technique of positioning the map so that all the features are aligned with the ground around you.
 
In good visibility you may be able to set the map by eye. If identifiable features are not visible, you can set the map by using the compass. Use the magnetic needle to find north and line up north on the map with north on the ground.
 
Tip:
 
Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about how to take a bearing...
 
Well done!
 
Having your map ‘orientated’ is the foundation to understanding navigation and learning how to relate the map to the ground and visa versa. Setting the map is the technique of positioning the map so that all the features are aligned with the ground around you.
 
In good visibility you may be able to set the map by eye. If identifiable features are not visible, you can set the map by using the compass. Use the magnetic needle to find north and line up north on the map with north on the ground.
 
Tip:
 
Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about how to take a bearing...
 
Wrong :(
 
Having your map ‘orientated’ is the foundation to understanding navigation and learning how to relate the map to the ground and visa versa. Setting the map is the technique of positioning the map so that all the features are aligned with the ground around you.
 
In good visibility you may be able to set the map by eye. If identifiable features are not visible, you can set the map by using the compass. Use the magnetic needle to find north and line up north on the map with north on the ground.
 
Tip:
 
Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about taking a bearing...
 
Wrong :(
 
Having your map ‘orientated’ is the foundation to understanding navigation and learning how to relate the map to the ground and visa versa. Setting the map is the technique of positioning the map so that all the features are aligned with the ground around you.
 
In good visibility you may be able to set the map by eye. If identifiable features are not visible, you can set the map by using the compass. Use the magnetic needle to find north and line up north on the map with north on the ground.
 
Tip:
 
Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about taking a bearing...
 
9 / 14: What is magnetic variation?
The effect of holding your compass close to something metal
The effect of a thunderstorm on the accuracy of your compass
The difference between grid north and magnetic north
The difference between grid north and true north
I haven't a scooby!
Well done!  

Grid North is the layout on your map with the North/South grid lines running vertically up and down the map. Your compass operates on the earth’s magnetic field and there is a difference between the two depending on where you are in the world and which year you are in.

In 2017 here in Scotland the magnetic variation is so small it is just not worth bothering with (around 1 degree in Aviemore in July 2017). So literally just take the bearing off the map and walk on it.

 
Tip:
 
Well done!  

Grid North is the layout on your map with the North/South grid lines running vertically up and down the map. Your compass operates on the earth’s magnetic field and there is a difference between the two depending on where you are in the world and which year you are in.

In 2017 here in Scotland the magnetic variation is so small it is just not worth bothering with (around 1 degree in Aviemore in July 2017). So literally just take the bearing off the map and walk on it.

 
Tip:
 
Wrong :(  

Grid North is the layout on your map with the North/South grid lines running vertically up and down the map. Your compass operates on the earth’s magnetic field and there is a difference between the two depending on where you are in the world and which year you are in.

In 2017 here in Scotland the magnetic variation is so small it is just not worth bothering with (around 1 degree in Aviemore in July 2017). So literally just take the bearing off the map and walk on it.

 
Tip:
 
Wrong :(  

Grid North is the layout on your map with the North/South grid lines running vertically up and down the map. Your compass operates on the earth’s magnetic field and there is a difference between the two depending on where you are in the world and which year you are in.

In 2017 here in Scotland the magnetic variation is so small it is just not worth bothering with (around 1 degree in Aviemore in July 2017). So literally just take the bearing off the map and walk on it.

 
Tip:
 
10 / 14: What is Naismith's Rule?
The order in which you should climb the Cairngorm peaks
A set of by-laws limiting wild camping on the Clan Naismith's estate
A way to work out how long it will take to walk from A to B
The forerunner to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
Well done!
 
This is a handy way to calculate how long it will take you to complete your walk. An average hill walker will walk at 4km per hour on level ground; you can then add on 1 minute for each 10 metres of ascent you need to do. Knowing this can be a great help in navigation, especially if visibility is poor.
 
Tip:
 
Well done!
 
This is a handy way to calculate how long it will take you to complete your walk. An average hill walker will walk at 4km per hour on level ground; you can then add on 1 minute for each 10 metres of ascent you need to do. Knowing this can be a great help in navigation, especially if visibility is poor.
 
Tip:
 
Wrong :(
 
This is a handy way to calculate how long it will take you to complete your walk. An average hill walker will walk at 4km per hour on level ground; you can then add on 1 minute for each 10 metres of ascent you need to do. Knowing this can be a great help in navigation, especially if visibility is poor.
 
Wrong :(
 
This is a handy way to calculate how long it will take you to complete your walk. An average hill walker will walk at 4km per hour on level ground; you can then add on 1 minute for each 10 metres of ascent you need to do. Knowing this can be a great help in navigation, especially if visibility is poor.
 
11 / 14: Why would you start counting your steps when walking in the mountains?
Great way of checking you've reached your 10,000 step target if you don't have a pedometer
It is a useful way of gauging distance travelled over short stages of navigation
So that you can boast to your friends that you have done a bigger walk than them
Well done!
 
In poor visibility timing or counting your paces may be the only way of judging how far you have walked on a bearing – essential to keep on route, but best used on fairly short stretches.
 
Tip:
  • Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about how to use pacing when you are navigating on the hill:
Well done!
 
In poor visibility timing or counting your paces may be the only way of judging how far you have walked on a bearing – essential to keep on route, but best used on fairly short stretches.
 
Tip:
  • Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about how to use pacing when you are navigating on the hill:
Wrong :(
 
In poor visibility timing or counting your paces may be the only way of judging how far you have walked on a bearing – essential to keep on route, but best used on fairly short stretches.
 
Tip:
  • Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about how to use pacing when you are navigating on the hill:
Wrong :(
 
In poor visibility timing or counting your paces may be the only way of judging how far you have walked on a bearing – essential to keep on route, but best used on fairly short stretches.
 
Tip:
  • Check out this useful wee film from Glenmore Lodge about how to use pacing when you are navigating on the hill:
12 / 14: What is the average number of strides (double paces - ie. left foot + right foot) it takes to cover 100 metres?
25 - 35 double paces
35 - 45 double paces
45 - 55 double paces
55 - 65 double paces
Well done!
 
Clearly the exact number of paces for an individual to cover 100 metres varies both with terrain and individual physique, but it will be within the range of 55 to 65 double paces. To get your average you need to pace up and down a measured distance or alongside someone else who knows their average.
Well done!
 
Clearly the exact number of paces for an individual to cover 100 metres varies both with terrain and individual physique, but it will be within the range of 55 to 65 double paces. To get your average you need to pace up and down a measured distance or alongside someone else who knows their average.
Wrong :(
 
Wow, how tall are you?? The exact number of paces for an individual to cover 100 metres varies both with terrain and individual physique, but it will be within the range of 55 to 65 double paces. To get your average you need to pace up and down a measured distance or alongside someone else who knows their average.
Wrong :(
 
Wow, how tall are you?? The exact number of paces for an individual to cover 100 metres varies both with terrain and individual physique, but it will be within the range of 55 to 65 double paces. To get your average you need to pace up and down a measured distance or alongside someone else who knows their average.
13 / 14: Why should you not keep a phone or GPS device in the same pocket as your compass?
Because you will be tempted to use the GPS instead of the map and compass
Because if you have a hole in your pocket you might lose them both
Because a GPS held close to a compass can affect the accuracy of the compass needle
Well done!
 
Always keep your compass away from metal objects, batteries or any electronic source as these can permanently deflect the compass needle. It’s also a good idea to make sure you don’t have holes in your pockets either...
 
Well done!
 
Always keep your compass away from metal objects, batteries or any electronic source as these can permanently deflect the compass needle. It’s also a good idea to make sure you don’t have holes in your pockets either...
 
Wrong :(
 
Using GPS is no crime, and it IS a good idea not to have holes in your pocket, but the real answer here is that any metal objects, batteries or electronic devices, such as a GPS, can permanently affect the accuracy of your compass.
 
Tip:
 
 
Wrong :(
 
Using GPS is no crime, and it IS a good idea not to have holes in your pocket, but the real answer here is that any metal objects, batteries or electronic devices, such as a GPS, can permanently affect the accuracy of your compass.
 
Tip:
 
 
14 / 14: Which of these is NOT a technique you can use when navigating your way to a target location?
Attack points
Boxing
Hand rails
Circling the square
Catching features
Aiming off
0
{"name":"Skills for the Hills: Do you know where you are going?? - Take the Quiz", "url":"https://www.quiz-maker.com/QDAXQW7","txt":"Test your navigation skills and knowledge in our 14 question quiz and find out if you're good to go or just get lost, where to get some advice and help or whether you might benefit from a bit of training!","img":"https://cdn.poll-maker.com/22-868016/quiz1.png?sz=1200-00000009381000005300","accounts":"@MountaineeringScotland","hash":"#SkillsfortheHills"}