This week (16-22 October) marks National Map Reading Week. Here at TGO we’d like to set our readers a challenge
The Ordnance Survey established their National Map Reading Week in 2016. The aim is to encourage people to understand the importance of map reading and how this vital life skill can unlock the great outdoors while keeping them safe. Map and compass remain indispensable in the hills – even in an age of precision satellite navigation.
Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “At OS we want to make the outdoors enjoyable, accessible and above all safe. National Map Reading Week provides the chance to polish up on map-reading skills. It’d be great to see families learning this important skill together and sharing their experiences with us.
“It’s great the nation is getting outside more, but we must remember that there are parts of Great Britain that require preparation and experience.”
For more information on National Map Reading Week visit The website includes resources for all ages such as tips and advice for map reading.
The website also includes a 2017 online map reading quiz to help sort the nation’s ‘Map Legends’ from those who are ‘Completely Lost’. Where do you think you rank on the scale?

A simple challenge

While many of our readers magazine will already have a good foundation in nav skills, we never stop learning. An increasing number of hillwalkers, climbers and backpackers are using GPS devices and smartphones for mountain navigation. While these systems have many advantages – and we often recommend their use in our magazine – it’s more important than ever before that even experienced hillgoers keep their map-and-compass skills sharp too.
That’s why for National Map Reading Week we’d like to set our readers a simple challenge:

Next time you head out into the countryside or on the hill, leave your GPS or smartphone switched off, and navigate entirely with map and compass.

For many of you this will be business as usual! But if you’ve been relying a bit more on the convenience and speed of satellite navigation recently, now’s as good a time as any to check the old-fashioned skills haven’t become rusty.
To help spread the message, tweet a photo of your map in the great outdoors, tagging @TGOMagazine and @OrdnanceSurvey, using the hashtag #NationalMapReadingWeek. Alternatively, send it to us on Facebook or Instagram.