Basic Route Planning Techniques

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How to read and follow a route card. Plan a route


Route card - pre prepared with a simple short route (only a few hundred metres, with 6 to 8 waypoints) around local area with a simple map to follow
Route cards - blank
Maps of intended walk area
Pens / Paper


Choose a suitable 'secret' word with the same number of letters as you have waypoints on your pre prepared route. e.g. NAVIGATE
Prior to starting evening, a leader walks the route and places one of the letters at each waypoint.
Split troop into patrols.
Show the patrols the pre prepared route card. Explain the features of it and how it works. Demonstrate basic compass skills if necessary
Give the patrol the map.
Instruct the patrol to follow the route and collect the letters at each way point.
Once they return with all letters they can rearrange them to find the secret word.

At the end of the exercise the Scouts will know how to use a Route Card.
This will lead nicely into an activity to plan (and then walk) a real route for the 1st time using a route card (they will understand the relevance of each part of it having actually used one).


  • compass
  • map reading
  • orienteering
  • route plan
  • scout craft
  • scout skills

Badge Links

  • Expedition - Navigation
  • Navigator - Draw route map