Ellis Brigham Adventure Skills Workshop

Posted on May 15th 2017 by Jason Rawles

Some of you will know that I recently joined the Ellis Brigham ambassador team representing adventure. I’m very proud as they are a superb UK family brand that care about ensuring people don’t just have the right kit to support their aspirations but have skills and knowledge to improve safety and fun.

OS Maps Adventure

Maps, compass and tools from Ordnance Survey and Shaven Raspberry

Practical #GetOutside Skills Adventure Workshops.

A little while back we started discussing how we could spread inspiration and information in the adventure world. Looking also at the Ordnance Survey #GetOutside initiative as some guidance in that we want to ensure everyone feels empowered to #GetOutside often. It helps that I’m a Champion for OS of course!

Ellis Brigham and I decided some workshops, spread around the UK, would go someway to help. We also appreciated that as this is the first year it may take some time to spread the word. We wanted to cover The Mendips, The Lake District and The Peak District.

Trig point Wavering Down Adventure

Trig point on Wavering Down while recce’ing the route

What Would We Cover..?

With some much to discuss I decided to strip it backs to the basics of planning, navigation and safety. That way we could build upon those aspects as we walked. This was also planned to be practical so we would play with skills to reinforce the learning. Not forgetting of course that 60% of the #GetOutside effort is even before the boots go on.

At it’s simplest level, we looked at –

  1. Planning the adventure based on capabilities, weather and expectations using OS Maps as a #GetOutside tool to give information and a print off of the route on A4 waterproof paper.
  2. Weather checking, timings, planning kit, getting to the start point, expectations.
  3. Building on navigation skills, timings, pacing, direction of travel, contour interpretation, ticking off features, breaking down route in to legs, D’s of navigation.
  4. Basics of group management and emergency management.
  5. Lots of practical use of map and compass.
  6. Managing routes and any changes while on the move.
  7. Confidence, competence, what next and getting enough play time in to make sure the skills stay relevant.
  8. De-brief, Q&A and other places/mechanisms to learn.

This felt pretty comprehensive for one day in the hills and of course we could bend the itinerary if necessary.

Map navigation adventure

The team looking strong working out timings with the inclusion of height gain

The Group Adventure.

We had a team of 3 for this workshop which was AMAZING. The Mendips are little known outside of the bigger national parks but they are feature rich and easy on the eye. There was a range of experiences but all had some knowledge to build on and more importantly a superb attitude and willingness to learn.

Here’s a picture of them at the trig point on Wavering Down and we also had a great chat about trig points, what they did, and how contours are now managed nowadays via more modern means!

Ellis Brigham Trig Point Adventure

Great work team by the trig point on Wavering Down in The Mendips

What’s next in this adventure..?

From the groups perspective the key thing is to consolidate the learning and have fun with the new skills. A lot of people go instantly on to book more advanced courses but it’s imperative to consolidate. People like the Ultimate Navigation School run some superb courses but let’s not forget we have to play with new skills to make them feel more like second nature.

We are also running some more courses –

27th May in the Lake District

28th May in the Lakes District

10th June in the Peak District

These courses are ONLY £25 per person…click HERE to be taken to the website to book and check availability.

OS Maps Route Adventure

A4 printed route from OS Maps on waterproof paper

I failed to mention above that I also work as an Adventure Guide so have qualifications, insurance and first aid skills to back up the teachings and I am also the Chief Adventure Officer for The Adventurer Club. Sign up to find out more.

You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook so please do CONNECT and let’s share the inspiration around.

Everest Base Camp Jason Rawles Adventure

Everest Base Camp 2018 with me is now LIVE so email for details

Thanks to Ellis Brigham and Ordnance Survey for their support to help get these skills out there. The OS #GetOutside page is HERE and you can also click HERE and get 7 days free use of OS Maps and play with the wonderful (and useful) 3D functionality.

Big shout to Shaven Raspberry who supply the cards you see in the pictures. They help with timings, slope angle interpretation, getting accurate grid references, emergency procedure reminder and also a toggle for helping remember pacing!

Happy reading and please do share.


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