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  1. AA Launches Best Walks In Britain App

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    The AA has a long tradition as one of the top producers of walking guides in the country and now has released its best walks in Britain as an app.  The AA Best Walks In Britain app contains over 1500 of the best walks in Britain researched and mapped out by the AA.  With so many walks to choose from, it couldn’t be easier to find one nearby your home or holiday destination and have a great day out. So, pack your rucksack and get out there!
    It is so easy to use. Users can quickly select walks from the pins on the map and check the suitability with a summary showing distance, estimated time, difficulty and typical landscape.  It even helps make the most of your walk with detailed descriptions, step by step directions and what to look out for on the way. Use the walk descriptions and directions for free or, for even simpler navigation, choose to purchase an Ordnance Survey® Landranger® 1:50,000 or Explorer™ 1:25,000 map with a GPS route to follow

    The key features of the AA Walks app are:
    * FREE – over 1500 of the Best Walks in Britain
    * FREE – detailed walk descriptions
    * FREE – step by step written directions
    * FREE – what to look out for while there
    * Optional – purchase and download OS maps

    If you choose to purchase the optional Ordnance Survey map and GPS route for your chosen walk you can turn your iPhone into outdoor GPS and simply follow your route on-screen. For extra convenience, the Ordnance Survey maps are downloaded to your phone so you can even use them ‘offline’ if you lose phone signal. The app can be downloaded from iTunes Store AA Best Walks in Britain

    Note: This app works best with GPS-enabled phones including iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and later models.


  2. Map And Compass Navigation For Walkers

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    Competent use of a map and compass, even in fine weather on a waymarked route, adds a positive dimension to the landscape beyond knowing where you are and identifying features around you. In more demanding country and deteriorating weather conditions, basic navigation skills are more than just useful, they’re essential.

    At best, good navigation skills avoid spoiling a day’s hillwalking by getting lost and tired. At worst, they avoid getting into more serious trouble as the causes of so many mountain rescue incidents can be traced back to poor navigation. There is no substitute to spending time on mastering map and compass in practice rather than theory.

    Happily, there are plenty of courses available as well as books to set you on the right track. The National Navigation Award Scheme has info on training courses at approved outdoor centres throughout the country and offers tests of navigational skills – bronze, silver and gold. Contact: Who knows? You might get hooked and take up competitive orienteering – where brains and navigation skills matter as much as fitness.

    A simple navigation checklist includes:

    • appropriate scale map – waterproofed or carried in a map case folded to the right place.
    • compass kept to hand and used with the map for reliable route-finding including diversions from the plan you made at home.
    • wearing a watch helps you to judge your pace and progress allowing an opportunity to adjust plans in good time.
    • if you are relying on a GPS unit which uses satellite signals to pinpoint your position and route, then make sure it’s powered up to last the whole of your route and carry a map as well. A traditional compass comes into its own in case of GPS problems and weighs next to nothing in your rucksack.
    • pen or pencil to make notes; a waterproof notebook means you don’t have to rely on your memory. It’s really useful to avoid that when you’re tired!

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