Ten Tors Training Micro Navigation

The TCS Ten Tors training programme have hit the half way point with a day of micro navigation on Saturday 27th January. We began by splitting the group in to 35 mile and 45 mile teams, Mr Horne supervised the 45 team and Mr Johns and Miss Ousley supervised the 35 team. A 4.5km route was set (a walk in the park in comparison to last Saturdays 26km!) and the teams set off to micro navigate the route, taking in turns every 15 minutes. The first leg was to reach a cairn not too far from Black Hill, ensuring the Boundary Stones and contours were noted whilst walking to confirm we were on the correct route.

Rotating navigators at the cairn, we made our way to Smallacombe Rocks where we could see Haytor Rocks to our left, which is always a fantastic view, we crossed paths with the 45 team who were navigating just as successfully. For some students, map reading and leading a team is out of their comfort zone, but everyone tried really hard and put great effort in to ensure the route was followed.

The next leg was to find the head of a spring; direction was accurate but spotting the spring took a few minutes. Luckily we had Mr Johns with us who knew exactly what to look for. Next, Josh needed to navigate back to the mini bus, there were no obvious tracks therefore he needed to use points of interest and take bearings to keep us on track. After making us all walk through the gorse bushes, we found the bus! Reunited, we got back on the minibus and travelled to Parke where the teams split in to smaller groups and set their sights on an orienteering course.

We set the students a challenge, keeping an eye on pace, team work and finding each specified point. They all did well in improving their skills and boosting their confidence.

Map reading is a vital part of Ten Tors, on the event the teams will be given a route and they are responsible for navigating over the 2 days to reach the checkpoints and eventually the finish line in a timely manner. The key to success is using ‘the 5 D’s’: Direction, Distance, Duration, Danger, Destination which is pre-planned in the meeting after school every Wednesday before the next training walk. This Saturday was a good experience for all involved and we will be putting these skills in to practice on our next training walk on the 17th February.