Skills Training

At a Glance

  • BCU approved watersports centre
  • Leadership Skills Courses
  • Climbing Skills Courses
  • Navigation Skills Courses

Paddle Skills Courses (BCU)

Looking to progress your canoeing skills, then we also run BCU accredited courses at our centre.

We also offer a series of days during the summer holidays, for BCU beginners courses. If you’ve got a group of friends or family, or are an organised group, then you can book a session, day or courses on any date that suits you, subject to a minimum group size of 6 Skills awards (part of British Canoeing Union)

More advanced courses run during the winter months, and will be dependent on water levels in the rivers.

Navigation Skills Courses

Discover the mysteries of magical Dartmoor as well as build confidence and develop your Navigation Skills. No longer will you wonder what terms such as handrails had to do with walking on the mountains and why some people drop small stones when they are walking. With each participant engaging in the exercise, our basic navigation courses are suitable for all, with the aim to feel less “like a sheep” at the end, a comment from many of our past customers!

We run several types of course which range from more basic skill training, a more social course with some navigation and improvers level navigation skills. Our more advanced courses are organised on demand, often by previous course attendees, who want to continue to further develop their skills.

Accommodation is available at the Hostel or we can recommend local Bed and Breakfast for those who prefer other types of accommodation.

Basic Navigation Skills.
The course is equivalent National Navigation Award Scheme’s Bronze level. Participants will spend 2 days on the Moor, and attend 2 evening sessions of lectures and practical skills training. These courses are suitable for DoE training classes, Ten Tors training or social meetings for ramblers/social walking groups

Content includes:

  • Understanding maps and their scales, different symbols and using grid references.
  • Orientating the map to the ground and identifying features on map and ground.
  • The ability to judge approximate distances on both map and ground.
  • Understanding of the contour system, so that you can differentiate valleys and ridges.
  • To plan a safe walk or course in wild country.
  • Understand information symbols on maps, for facilities, rights of way
  • Using a map and compass to find where you are, and where to walk.

Improvers Navigation Course
The course is equivalent to the National Navigation Award Scheme’s Silver level. This will include 2 days on the Moor, 2 evening sessions of lectures and practical sessions. You will become familiar with basic map and compass skills.

Content includes:

  • Revision of understanding maps and their scales, understand information symbols on maps for facilities and rights of way, different symbols and using grid references, understanding of the contour system, so that you can differentiate valleys and ridges.
  • Orientating the map to the ground and identifying features on map and ground.
  • Use of different levels of navigation, macro to micro-level, depending on terrain and visibility.
  • Use of ‘attack points’ to get to specific places on the map
  • How to plan a safe walk or course in wild country with little visibility using ‘aiming off’.
  • How to estimate time and distance to be covered using Naismith’s rule. How to adapt it to your group.
  • Using a map and compass to find where you are, and to relocate your position.
  • Walking on an accurate compass bearing to get to a specific point.

Advanced Navigation Skills
At present these are organised on demand. The training weekend will include 2 days on the Moor, 2 evening sessions of lectures and practical sessions. This course provides the types of skills to meet NNAS Gold Awards, but a separate weekend assessment is required to obtain this qualification.

What equipment do you need?

  • Outdoor clothing (Waterproofs e.g. Jacket/Trousers; gloves; hat; day rucksack)
  • Full Hiking Boots (the ground is wet and boggy in places!)
  • Personal belongings (washbag etc)
  • Walking Sticks (if you use them)
  • Packed Lunch for each day

Climbing Skills Courses

Looking at getting into rock climbing? Then our Introduction to Climbing day course is for you. Many people will have tried their hand at climbing at indoor centres, but this gives you a taste of climbing on real rock. Our instructors will take you onto Dartmoor, a perfect location for rock climbing, to cover the some simple techniques of rock climbing. On the course you will be shown basic skills of rope work and importantly how to belay, whilst getting some quality time on the rock. This course is better for those groups who want to develop their skills further and several day courses can be booked over a period of time, if more progression is required for the group.

What equipment do you need?

    • Outdoor clothing (Waterproofs e.g. Jacket/Trousers; gloves; hat; day rucksack)
    • Full Hiking Boots (the ground is wet and boggy in places!)
    • Personal belongings (washbag etc)
    • Walking Sticks (if you use them)
    • Packed Lunch for each day

Ask about using rock shoes, as it depends on the climbing venue used on the day as to which footwear is most suitable for this course.

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