Learning Zone Hampshire
Many people find map reading and compass skills difficult to learn but the principles behind them are quite straightforward. Regular practice is needed to keep your skills sharp. A GPS device is a useful tool to have in your rucksack but is no substitute for an accurate map and compass.
Ordnance Survey has produced the leaflet Map Reading, which explains the subject very clearly. A leaflet aimed at children but useful for all ages is Map Reading Made Easy Peasy. The Ramblers has produced the guides Navigation for Walkers and Maps for Walkers.
Homework Help teaches the map-reading skills covered by Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum Geography programme in England and Wales (years 7–9) and the Framework for Environmental Studies People and Place strand in Scotland (years P7–S2). The games and quizzes are educational and fun covering not only map reading skills but geography and maths too.
This GPS Buyers Guide article explains the key features of a handheld GPS. Go4awalk has an article that explains the myths and facts of GPS devices, as well as loads of other useful information for walkers.
Ordnance Survey Symbols
For an explanation of the symbols found on the Landranger and Explorer maps see Landranger series 1:50K and Explorer series 1:25K. A map scale of 1:50000 means one centimetre on the map is equal to 50000 centimetres or 500 metres or 0.5 kms on the ground. With a scale of 1:25000 one centimetre on the map translates to 25000 centimetres or 250 metres or 0.25 kms on the ground.
There are several very good digital mapping products on the market including memory-map and TrackLogs. The initial purchase of the software can be expensive but over time may prove much cheaper than buying paper maps.
At Walk and Cycle we use Mapyx Quo when we design trails using Ordnance Survey Explorer maps - all other times we use Trail Designer. Quo software is available for free and then you only buy the map tiles that you need. This can make it a much cheaper option than other similar products.
Instruction and Certification
Cycle instruction in Hampshire is provided by:
The Highway Code
Why Cycle? has lots of information and advice on buying a bicycle.
The CTC runs three bicycle maintenance courses: trailside repairs, advanced maintenance and fleet management.