This website will be closing on 07/05/2024

Navigation courses will now be available at

Do you want to the learn the skills to navigate & trek safely in the Mountains, Moors & Dales of the UK?
Jim aka the 'Old Plodder' has many years experience of walking in the mountains & hills, and with over 25 years of those as a qualified mountain leader, and he can teach you those invaluable techniques!
On a Basic or Advanced Navigation Course, learn the procedures he has acquired over that time, and he can pass on to you in easily understood step by step instructions.
Learn by doing, in the outside not a classroom or book. Use & practice the skills required to navigate using an Ordnance survey map & a compass, and relating that to the landscape around you. Plus other tips and advice to make your journey through the great outdoors, more enjoyable. 
Courses can be One to One or as a group. Based on the North York Moors.

By acquiring the skills and knowledge taught to you, on the courses, you will be able to navigate with confidence (You will need to practice the skills you are taught - to gain that confidence).
You will be taught to recognize the features on the map that rarely change, the shape and elevation of the hills (contours), the streams and rivers, and use those to confirm your location.

Courses based on the 
North York Moors.
The terrain on the moors can be pretty
featureless, if you can navigate on the moors, you can navigate anywhere!

These courses are  for everyone who uses the great outdoors, not just those who want a qualification or certificate.
Practical based, so no matter what your background or skill level you will be able to 
come along and learn map reading skills & how to use a compass.

You may say, "I don't need to learn to use a map 
& compass, I have my phone/GPS device."
They require batteries which can drain or the device may break, leaving you stranded.
Always carry a map & compass and importantly 
learn how to use them. Having map reading skills
is for necessary for walkers & hikers.  

Old Plodder = Jim Haskell, no longer young 
& a retired police officer (proud of my 

service to the public).
I am active; walking & backpacking, just enjoying being outdoors. Watch my YouTube videos.
The opportunities abound as living in Northallerton, the North York Moors Yorkshire Dales are both close by. The Lake District is only 90 minutes away along the A66.

Ordnance Survey Maps are some of the best maps in the World. 
However, even before they are published some of the data on them is out of date, and paper maps are only updated about every 
seven years. (Major changes on electronic devices updated more regularly-ish)
Footpaths are diverted, forests & woods are felled or planted, field boundaries are moved or disappear. 
Public rights of way on the map, are not apparent on the ground, or what you think is the path is actually just a sheep track. 
This is all true for electronic devices too !!!

Wind speed & Temperature Drop

Spring & eventually summer are on the way, with the Easter weekend at the end of March, beginning of April, but that doesn't mean it is time not to take warm clothing with you, if venturing out and about in the North York Moors & Yorkshire Dales.  
The temperatures on top may be about 7 centigrade cooler on top of the Three Peaks in the Dales or 5 degrees cooler on the higher tops of the North York Moors.
So pack an extra fleece, hat & gloves just in case.
Plus a little extra food, and it never hurts not to carry an emergency bivi bad. They keep the wind and rain off if you have an incident. Until help can arrive.

Sun set

Sun set in March is still about 6pm, so will be fully dark by 7pm.
The clocks go forward an hour on 31st March, which will give an extra hour of day light..
Just in case you are delayed carry a torch/head torch plus a spare & extra batteries . They don't weigh a lot and can be so useful.

Spring is returning, it's time to get your walking boots on again.

Get trained in 2024.

Maps and compass, may be old news, what with all the new Apps etc, that are available.

The new electronic devices are fantastic, but as we all know, anything electronic can break, normally at the most inconvenient time.
[I carry a Garmin Inreach Messenger - not for navigation purposes but in order to summon help, as I often walk alone (OK with my dog Lola} and there are so many places where you cannot get a mobile phone signal, this device uses satellite technology] 

Being able to locate your position, by using a map and compass is a useful skill to have. Using a bit of knowledge you can even locate your position within deep forest  with very limited visibility. Or whilst walking in dense fog on the moors & dales.


Remember you can get greater discounts if you book courses with friends or family, saving 10 to 30%. So book a course now.

                    The 'Old Plodder'  -  Navigation Skills                            
Choose from a variety of activities listed below
Please show respect to everyone on our courses & to the residents of the countryside we use.
It is our play ground but their home & livelihood. Leave no trace, take your litter home.

Fully insured.        Outdoor & Mountain First Aid Qualified. 

Learn simple techniques with the map and compass, so you can navigate safely in mountainous and lowland terrain.
Discover about :- scale, bearings, map reference, contours, timing & pacing. How to use a compass etc.
Fully inclusive: - any age, gender & ability, the course can be adapted to suite you.
Learn by doing, the best way. 
All explained in easy steps.
Know where you are.
Know where you going. 
Know that you have reached your goal/destination

Learn what clothing and equipment to use, to travel safely in the Great Outdoors. 
The "Old Plodder" offers guided walks for groups and individuals.
These walks are based in The North York Moors & Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
Numbers are kept small for safety and to prevent disturbance of wildlife.

Advice on tents, rucksacks, sleeping and cooking systems. 
Be safe & comfortable living outdoors.
Join the "Old Plodder" on 2 or 3 day [1 or 2 nights] real backpacking expeditions to the high tops. Learn to camp wild. Follow the backpackers code.

There is nothing better, at the start or the end of a walk to sample the food & drinks from some of the wonderful food establishments to be found in North Yorkshire.
A pot of tea, with fruit cake & Wensleydale cheese.
Freshly brewed coffee.
Traditional or modern café food
Even a pint & a pub meal.
Proper Yorkshire portion sizes.
My recommendations.

What inspires him?
His ethos?
Meet Lola, the small Cretan dog his constant companion on the hills.

 "Don't let the old man in!!!" - Keeping a youthful & positive attitude to life. 
Age is but a number, not a defining factor on what you can do. 

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.