Help yourself get to where you want to go in safety and more importantly get back again.
In this section you'll find a range of hand-held compasses in both degree and millitary readings from Silva. These items, when combined with a map, give a high degree of accuracy in navigation when used by a competent navigator. UK Ordnance Survey maps are available both in paper format and with a waterproof laminated covering, or you could get yourself an Ortlieb mapcase to protect your maps from weather and unexpected coffee. We stock a large number of UK maps, covering most popular outdoor destinations in both Landranger (1:50,000) and Explorer (1:25,000).
Having said this - in certain parts of the world maps are very basic and may be constructed purely as a set of way points, and in such areas (many regions of Africa for example) Global Positioning Systems come into their own. GPS units are, however, becoming popular even where high quality mapping is available (check out the range from Garmin in particular). Increases in efficiency have been produced by the military switching off the selective accuracy of such systems and the introduction of WAAS and EGNOS satellites which counter atmospheric interference. This improves matters to such an extent that you can now pin-point yourself on a map, even when in a white-out, with a very small margin of uncertainty. Remember, however, that an error of five metres could mean the difference between being stood at the top or at the bottom of a cliff, and therefore GPS systems should be backed up with a good map and compass and the skills to use them!
Digital mapping packages from Memory Map make the programming of GPS significantly more accurate and enormously fast. They also remove the need for you to roll around on top of your map with magnifying glasses and map measurers, as everything is done at the click of a button. You can even view 3-dimensional maps and aerial photographs and pass daylight effects over them to see when you could be walking in the shade and fly along the route you have plotted to get an idea of the views you should see. You can then print off your seamless handleable map for the day with your route shown and notes attached. Check out this stunning range of products in our Digital Mapping Section.
For even more pin point accuracy why not contemplate an altimeter, this will give you a spot height to give an extra point of reference to work out whether you are at the top or the bottom of that cliff when you're out in the mist. Altimeters are also useful weather forecasting tools.
Included here you will also find a number of navigation aids such as pedometers and map measurers, and marker flags and clips and cards for orienteering competitions.
it's also worth remembering that getting back before dark is often useful for easier navigation so don't forget to take a watch.
If you have any GPS, altimeter and digital mapping related questions, don't hesitate to call, email or drop in for a chat with our trained staff (Dave and Andy love this area in particular), who have both navigated to and safely returned from destinations around the globe.