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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Getting my bearings

I have a famously poor sense of direction. Talk of knowing which way to walk in relation to the position of the sun in the sky makes me think of dark magic. I once took a wrong turn on leaving a pub toilets and ended up in the car park instead of the restaurant. It makes the idea of me deciding on this challenge even more baffling for many. Undaunted, I have become adept at using the OS app on my phone, with my Garmin GPS as a backup. But all experienced walkers strongly advise having a backup for the backup - and that should be something that doesn’t rely on power. As in a map. And to use a map you need a compass. So a few days ago David and I could be seen in the woods north of Beaconsfield (hope you spotted the geographical language there….) poring over a compass in the rain. David knows a lot about a lot of things, but astonishingly compass reading was not one of them. But his experience of fixing the dishwasher and many other skill based tasks has taught us that there’s a YouTube video for everything. Thanks to Steve Bagshall’s kind advice we had the knowledge to work out how to set a map, how to set the compass and how to take a bearing. And thanks to all the walkers in the woods that day who were so keen to help when observing our endeavours. I can now be fairly confident that if all the power goes down, and I know where I am, I should be able to get to my destination. If I don’t know where I am, then I’ll need Steve B to step in.

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