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Pentland Outdoor Navigation

One-Day Course 

In this course, we look at outdoor navigation using paths, tracks, and other linear features.  Basic map and compass work are also included.

This is a great course for those with little or no navigational experience.


  • Introduction to Maps
  • Setting the Map (with and without the compass)
  • Grid References
  • Pacing and Timing
  • Estimating Distance
  • Use of the Compass
  • Relocation Strategies

Minimum Group Size: One - Maximum Group Size Eight

Assumes: No previous knowledge

Cost: Course £80.00pp  payable in advance of the course start date.  The course will not be confirmed until paid for.  (If you would prefer a private course for yourself or with a group of friends, let me know when booking)

Cancellation of course. If you (the participant) cancel the course before 24hrs of the course start, a cancellation fee of £45 pp will be deducted from the payment.  There will be no refund if you cancel within 24hrs of the course commencing.

If Pentland Outdoor cancels the course, you will get full payment of the returned monies.

For further information regarding course bookings, please get in touch using the email below:



Clare Beckett  20th Feb 2022

I signed up for the Introduction to Navigation course, not really understanding how to read a map or use a compass. The course was fantastic. Not only did Robert cover navigation, the tools to use, and how best to use them, but he also covered vital safety points to live by while out in the hills. I can highly recommend the day for all levels, Robert puts you at ease and makes the day good fun.

Claire Pecot  29th  Oct 2022

My friend Alan and I had a fantastic day learning about navigation with Robert. I had no knowledge whatsoever about map reading or ways to use a compass but Robert helped me to learn and become more comfortable throughout the course. He was very knowledgeable, encouraging, and patient. We also both appreciated his world of knowledge on mountain safety, his humour, and hearing about his life experience. If you want to learn more about navigation in a relaxed and friendly environment then Robert is your go-to person!"

Andrew Gray  25th Feb 2023

Both my brother and I have, over the last year, been climbing the Munros when we can; however, I've been conscious that too much reliance on technology and lack of basic map reading skills does not best prepare us for days out on the hills.

We spent a day completing the basic map reading course in the Pentland Hills which was highly informative and definitely recommended to others. In addition to using the map and compass Robert talked through potential situations, things to consider and kit to carry. Thanks to Robert for his patience and knowledge - we now have more confidence and can build on the learning with practice."

Linda & Lou  07 Mar 2023

As someone who loves hillwalking, I thought it was time to learn some basic navigational skills instead of always relying on others. Myself and a friend signed up for Robert's one-day beginner’s course in the Pentlands. From the outset, Robert was super friendly and a great communicator. Over the course of the day, he showed us how to plan and follow a route on a map, how to check for landmarks along the way, how to work out distances and how to set and use a compass. He covered safety in the hills and added interesting wee facts about the Pentlands. We look forward to using our newfound knowledge on our next trek adventure. Thank you, Robert.'

Carol & Janet  29 Apr 2023

Robert is a great instructor. As a beginner taking a course, he made understanding basic navigation skills simple with straightforward explanations and had lots of patience with the bits I struggled with. Would definitely recommend it and might be back for more advanced skills once I've had some practice.


Susie Keith 21st Oct 2022

I had always just let others on walks do the map reading and tell me where I was and where we were going next, and I followed with no thought to the route.

I had absolutely no knowledge of route planning, zero experience with a compass, a fear of mathsy/technical things, and zero confidence.

I wanted to become fully competent and aware of route planning myself.

I spent a lovely October day in the Pentlands with Robert (9 am - 4 pm). He had a very well-worked-out programme to introduce me to each of the concepts one by one. He explained things in a very nice simple, easy-to-understand way and built everything up well and gradually through the day. He set a good number of tests so I could realise that I was understanding everything and I was actually getting it.

All-in-all, I am absolutely delighted I had training with Robert and excited to use my new awareness and bed in my newfound confidence and competence.

Fantastic, thank you, Robert.


Sheila Sanei  22nd Jan 2023

Robert is extremely knowledgeable, incredibly friendly, and very eager to ensure you understand the fundamentals of navigation and map reading skills and mountain safety. 

I had zero knowledge of navigation skills prior to having a full-day course with Robert in the Pentland hills. By the end of the day, I had definitely learned many of the basics, including how to use a compass to do magnetic bearings, and I also improved my mountain safety skills. 

Robert offers courses of various lengths suitable for individuals with zero prior knowledge as well as for those who wish to improve further and develop their current skills. 

I highly recommend Robert as a tutor; he is an easygoing, approachable, experienced, and highly professional guide. I hope to further improve my skills in one of his other courses.