Course type
Brockagh Resource Centre | Laragh
Meeting point
Nearest town

Introduction to navigation

Beginners 1 day mountain navigation course

The course is held in and around the village of Laragh, in the Wicklow mountains. The morning is spent indoors learning the necessary theory, the rest of the day is spent on the tracks and hills around the village.

You should then take a little time to practice and consolidate what you have learned before progressing to higher courses.

About introduction to navigation

We will be using the facilities of the Brockagh Resource Centre for the morning of this course. Mid-morning tea, coffee and biscuits are included in the course fee.

Lunch is available at the centre, or in the village.

During the morning we will cover:

  • Understanding the nature of the map as a two dimensional plan.
  • Use of map symbols and scales on a range of maps, (1:50,000 and 1:25,000).
  • Taking a six figure grid reference for a given point on the map and locating a position from a given reference.
  • How to interpret simple contour features.
  • Understanding the parts of a compass.

After lunch we will head out on to the tracks and paths around the village where we will learn to:

  • Orientate the map with and without the compass, then use the orientated map to identify land features and our direction of travel.
  • Practice contour interpretation of saddles, summits and spurs.
  • Choose simple navigation strategies to reach a target.
  • Use linear features, (paths and tracks), in simple navigation exercises.
  • Estimate distances on the map and on the ground.
  • Introduce the technique of timing.
  • Take a safe and suitable route.

This course is run at a maximum ratio of 1:8 to ensure each client gets the most out of the day.

MEETING POINT Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh 09.00am
WHAT TO BRING  Walking boots or waterproof shoes and waterproof jacket and trousers; hat and gloves; packed lunch, (optional); water or juice drink, (1.0 litres); small rucksack.
Transport is available from Molly Malone statue in Suffolk Street, at 07.30, – additional €10 per person payable to the driver on the day.(Limited places are available, please state you require transport when booking).
Maps and compasses are supplied for the day.
Mid-morning tea, coffee and biscuits.
Professional mountain leader with first aid certification and full insurance.
Maximum tutor to client ratio of 1:8.
Specialist hiking clothing.
Lunch & snacks

How to get to the start:

To get to Laragh from Dublin take the N11 heading south. Get off at Kilmacanogue, (R775), and head for Roundwood. Go through Roundwood, then Annamoe and on to Laragh. The resource centre is near the church, turn right after the petrol station.

Introduction to Navigation Course Testimonials:

Terrific Introduction to Navigation Course!
“…Russ provided excellent instruction on the basics of map-reading and using a compass. In the afternoon, Russ had us put our new skills to the test by finding our way from the village of Laragh up to Brockagh East and viewpoints of Glendalough and Glenmacnass valley. It was a great way to spend the day learning in a beautiful area with a talented instructor.” John P – reviewed 12th August 2015

Further reading on our blog:

How to look after your map and compass

Interpreting the map and relating it to the ground


Find a date below and use the form to book

Below you’ll find dates for this course for the next 4 months, for more events and further dates for this event view the full calendar.


april 2020

11apralldayIntroduction to Navigation course

may 2020

No hikes or courses

june 2020

No hikes or courses

july 2020

05julalldayIntroduction to Navigation course

Introduction to navigation