While every self-respecting NMC member can locate the nearest pub, pointing yourself in the right direction on featureless terrain is always an advantage... so with this in mind, 2004 saw the club's first engagement in some tactical navigation training, and we reprised it in 2009 (thanks, Mike). A mixture of classroom sessions, weekend trips to Exmoor, Dartmoor and Wales, and an eye-opening night navigation exercise on Snelsmore Common has helped club members to become fully proficient with map and compass and tell their resections from their re-entrants.
Click here for details of the material covered in the classroom sessions.
New to NMC? First weekend trip? We've already given you an idea of what to expect... but what do you need to bring with you? Below is a list of essential and useful equipment. (Don't worry, there's no need to rush out and spend a fortune in the nearest gear shop if you don't have everything - quite often it's possible to borrow stuff on the useful items list from other people.)
Sleeping bag (the warmer the better - definitely at least a 3-season for camping trips)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Food and drink (at least enough for breakfasts and packed lunches; check trip details for evening meal plans)
Useful items (depending on the season/planned activity):
Cooking equipment (anything from a disposable barbecue to a one-pot stove to the camping equivalent of an Aga...)
Midge repellent (especially in Scotland in July)
Map (of the area where you're going, obviously...)
Earplugs (for those communal bunkhouse rooms!)
Sense of humour...