Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The unknown unknowns of navigation

I held the first of six 'Adventure Navigation' sessions on Saturday afternoon. I've got a super enthusiastic bunch of participants with a range of navigation experiences from none to some.

We're using orienteering maps for these lessons - convenient, lots of detail, colours and symbols and can use a small area for practice - so I began the lesson with some map familiarity activities. This week we'll move on to some technical skill training - but I can only do this when people know that a green circle is a big tree and a brown 'v' is a pit and white is forest and yellow is open ground. Very much like if you don't know words you can't read a sentence...

For one of the activities I did a 'guided' walk where I pointed out the symbols and colours with respect to the features in reality. Even for a regular orienteer there is a lot you don't necessarily look at in such detail because you're moving swiftly and you only need to read the fine detail when you're nearing the control. And often there are symbols you just don't see or take note of, which could be useful.

There are indeed unknowns that you don't know you don't know until they're known. And once they're known these unknowns become known.
My aim is that this series of navigation sessions will uncover the unknowns and make them knowns.
I so get Donald Rumsfeld...

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