Keeping a map set

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An exercise in the importance of keeping a map set as you walk.


Printed "maps"
9 objects to use as markers


The following exercise will demonstrate the importance of setting the map and improve your skill in keeping it set. Even if you already consider yourself to be a competent "map setter" this exercise can be quite illuminating.
a. Use a piece of card to draw the "map" shown in the diagram. It doesn't have to be precisely drawn - a rough job will be fine. Alternatively you could photocopy the diagram and stick it on a piece of card. You now have nine "features" with a route that you are going to follow.
b. On a flat area of ground mark out the nine features in an oblong (use stones, drinks cans - anything that won't blow away). There needs to be about 3 metres between each marker.
c. The aim of the exercise is to follow the route which you have drawn on your map. The faster you run, the harder it will be to follow the route.
d. Do the first exercise WITHOUT setting the map. Hold the map against your chest fixed in front of you and don't turn it as you travel. Don't travel sideways or backwards (you wouldn't do this on the hill!). You will probably find it quite difficult to follow the route, especially if you run.
e. Now follow the route by keeping the map set as you travel. When you change direction you must turn the map so that it stays set. You should find it fairly straightforward to follow the route, even on the run.
f. Draw a different route on your map and follow it as fast as you can.


  • compass
  • Map
  • navigation
  • North
  • orienteering

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