Friday, 29 July 2016

Navigation coaching dates for August

Hi Navigators-to-be,

Thank you for being so patient while I find my feet in my new home. I've been busy with creating a map to use for navigation training - and it is looking fabulous.

I had a most wonderful day yesterday teaching navigation skills to a group from the outdoor-based post-matric 'school', Warriors. I had a group last year, in Jo'burg, and so I was delighted to receive a call from them again a few weeks ago asking me to teach their new group how to navigate. With a fixed date, this was the kick I needed to explore the area more - looking for checkpoints - and to tweak my map.

I did skills and activities with them in the morning and later in the afternoon we headed out for a bushy practical session. This area, being highveld bush terrain, is far more challenging than Delta Park and so I was super-super-super impressed with this group of 19/20 year olds yesterday afternoon. As far as challenging, precise navigation goes, this ticks all the boxes. And they got it! I felt like a proud mother hen watching them in action.

I have TWO DATES for you (minimum 6 people, max 12):

·         TUESDAY, 9 AUGUST 2016 (public holiday, Women's Day)
·         SATURDAY, 20 AUGUST 2016 (plus Sunday morning GPS activity)

VENUE: Thabela Thabeng, in the Vredefort Dome (near Parys). It takes me 25-30 minutes in my VW Polo to get to Thabela from my home in Parys. Parys is less than 90-mins from Jo'burg. Thabela has lovely chalets and also a Youth Hostel (my group yesterday stayed in the hostel - it's around R100pppn).

TIME: 09h00 to 16h00. It is very chilly in the early morning at the moment but by 9am it is much-much improved.

COST: R350 for the full day. For the additional GPS morning, plus R100.

In the morning we'll cover the fundamental skills: map orientation by features, thumbing, scale-proportion-relationships, pacing, contour lines, compass use (map orientation plus direction of travel).

After lunch, we'll head into the bush for a technical activity where all of these skills will need to come into play.

I know there are a bunch of people looking for GPS assistance. I assume you'll want to know things like following a track, putting in co-ordinates and using the 'Go To' function?

Let me know:
·         what kind of GPS you have
·         what event you want to do, and
·         if you know, what GPS content the event provides i.e. gpx file with a track, a file with waypoints or coordinates

Thabela Thabeng is a great place to stay - and it is our host venue too. They have a variety of chalet options both on their property and the one next door. Their chalets range from 2-sleepers to 4, 6 and even a 10-sleeper house. Depending on the size of the chalet and number of people, rates would range from R270 to R495 per person per night. These are all self-catering chalets.

If you're not planning a romatic getaway with your partner/family, I'll be happy to coordinate participants to share a chalet.

If you're keen to come through for the Tuesday, 9 August, I'd recommend staying over on the Monday night. Usually bookings are two nights minimum but as it is a public holiday in the week, they're fine for us to book just the Monday night.

If you plan to come through on Saturday, 20 August, this will fall under the 2-nights minimum so you'll stay the Fri and Sat nights. That's why I suggest the Sunday morning for GPS skills. We'll be done by noon.

The chalets are all self-catering. There is also a great spot 4km down the road in the historic village of Venterskroon. I used the Venterskroon Inn as my start/finish venue for my Forest Run. They make delicious food. Nice for Saturday night dinner and Sunday lunch.

For lunch during the nav course, pack in some sammies and snacks and we will have a quick 30-minute picnic.

Dress appropriately for activity and the weather… Hat, shades, water bottle, backpack (for putting in your layers of clothing as you strip them off). Of course, takkies. You won't be running - the focus is on navigation, not exercise.

  • A pen and a clipboard.
  • If you have your own compass, bring it. I do have compasses for you to use if you don't have one. Please don't go out and buy one for the course. Rather buy later once you know what to look for in a compass.
  • Lots of enthusiasm and energy :)

Please let me know by noon on Thursday, 3 August if you're in for the 9th.
Please let me know by noon on Tuesday, 16 August if you're in for the 20th.

Payment confirms your place.

Email me at

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