Day in the life – Navigation Day

Due to me and my team have moved on to the Gold Duke of Edinburgh my leaders organised a navigation day so we can develop our map reading and team building skills. Which means we hike up a mountain looking for plane crash zones. If you haven’t hiked up Kinder Scout, Derbyshire Peak District, then its definitely one to do, its one of the less difficult mountains there, but one of my favorites. 

Here is my ‘Day in the life’ of my Navigation Day-

  • I’m not going to sugar coat it, the whole drive there I was dreading it. Nothing to do with explorers, just the usual tired teenager not wanting to go out in the cold. Plus I should’ve been revising, so don’t judge me.
  • However, as soon as we arrived at the car park, there was a play park so we acted like a 5 year old whilst waiting for the rest of the team, which was actually quite hilarious seeing two 6ft 16/17 year olds on a ladybird seesaw.
  • We had to leave the play area because the team arrived, we hadn’t met them before so it was fun meeting them.
  • Once we grouped up, my leader told me a great tip, which was to use a blade of grass to point on the map. This is because grass is slimmer than out fingers, so when you’re pointing, you are not covering any place names or symbols. 
  • We left the car park and set of towards the base of the mountain which was a laugh because we played odds are (a stupid game) and just totally messed about the whole way up.
  • One of the hardest things to do during the hike was to keep looking at the map, to make sure we knew where we were going. This is thanks to the 90mph (tiny exaggeration) wind that was blowing straight into our faces, which made it 10x harder.
  • It took a couple of hours to reach the summit, which is about 636m high, so not for the fainthearted but despite this a great walk.
  • Around 2 O’clock we tried to find shelter from the insane wind, but this one a huge challenge at the peak of a mountain. Luckily, Kinder Scout homes quite a few boulder-like rocks, which we were able to cower behind. 
  • In order to get down, there are many routes you can take. We ended up on the other side of the mountain down a large open path – you felt like you were going to fall 100ft after every step, especially with the wind – but after a while you got used to it and you didn’t really notice it as much.
  • In the village where the base of Kinder Scout is, there’s a cute little cafe that welcomes muddy boots, this was fortunate for us as we were caked from head to toe in mud. We all got hot chocolates, relaxed and waited for our parents to show up.

Overall, it was a great walk. There was only five explorers and one leader, so you could get to know them easier and less people to lose. Just kidding 🙂 Good luck if you try the walk.

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