Blog - after a GPS Training course
Tue 15th March 2016
I have just completed the GPS Training Course, held by Shepherds Walks in Rothbury, which was thoroughly enjoyable and very informative.
Being a complete novice with a GPS unit and having very limited knowledge of how they actual work, attending this course was a little daunting, but I had nothing to worry about.
On arrival on the Saturday, I received a warm welcome from Andy, the instructor, and was asked if I would like a tea or coffee, accompanied with a choice of biscuits.
Once everyone had arrived, Andy explained the safety and emergency procedures, then we all introduced ourselves, explaining our reasons for attending the course and what we hoped to achieve from it. I quickly realised that I was among like minded people, that were in a similar position as myself, with regard to knowledge and experience of GPS units.
Initially, Andy took us through the basic steps of checking that our GPS units were set-up correctly, such as type of batteries, ensuring that the SD cards were fitted correctly and also helping us navigate our way around the unit, so that we understood how the unit worked and the functions of each button. Even after this basic instruction, we all felt more confident in using our GPS units. It’s worth mentioning at this point, that if you do not have your own GPS unit, you can borrow one from Shepherds Walks, then you can decide which one is best for you after completing the course and seeking the advice of the instructor.
Once we had become more familiar with the basic functions of our GPS units, we then went outside to learn how to practically use the unit by creating ‘way points’, which helped us create a route of where we wanted to go and then following the compass on the GPS unit to see if we arrived at the right destination; I’m pleased to write that we did.
During a short break for lunch, with tea and coffee facilities provided, we were surprised at how much we had learned in just a few hours of instruction.
In the afternoon session, we learned how to create more detailed routes, how to send a route from one unit to another wirelessly and how to retrace our route to our original starting point with ‘track back’. We were then split in to groups of 3 and each given an exercise to complete, which required that we input specific coordinates in to our GPS units, follow the route to the destination and retrieve the correct answer to a certain question, which was fun.
The initial part of the morning session on the Sunday, consisted of a quick revision of what we had learned the day before and any clarification, if required, which was useful.
This day mainly comprised of an introduction to and getting familiar with, the BaseCamp computer software, including creating and editing routes on our laptops, uploading them to our GPS units and then walking that route outside. We also learned how to download walking routes from the internet.
In summation to an excellent and enlightening two days, I would highly recommend this course for anyone that owns a GPS unit, be they a novice or experienced user, as the course is tailored for all levels of experience and knowledge, while being delivered in a friendly, attentive and personal manner.
I am really pleased that I attended the GPS Training Course and I now feel confident that I can navigate myself safely and successfully, while out walking.