Author Sam

  • Comparison of 1st and 2nd Editions of NNAS Handbook for Tutors

    NNAS Handbook for Tutors, Second Edition
    (click for full-size image)

    HARVEY have recently published the second edition of the National Navigation Award Scheme Outdoor Navigation Handbook for Tutors. I couldn’t find a summary of the changes, so I wrote my own.

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  • Harden Moss (17km)

    My latest Peak Challenge walk led me to discover one of my new favourite places in the Peak District, which is exactly the kind of thing I had hoped to achieve from this challenge.

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  • Mapping Software Comparison: Introduction

    I love maps, and because I’m a bit of a geek, I love mapping software too. It’s super convenient and it unlocks so many possibilities for using and exploring maps in new and interesting ways.

    There’s a good variety of mapping software out there, but most people pick one and stick with it due to the relatively high cost of switching. There’s the financial cost of having to purchase map tiles or subscription packages, the mental cost of having to learn a new system, and the cost of the time it takes to transfer your library of routes from the old system to the new.

    Despite that, I meet lots of people who would benefit from switching. The best options include crisp high-definition maps, an intuitive user interface and whizzy features like 3D flythrough and more. The worst software is slow and unresponsive, clunky to use, and some systems even lack an undo button.

    This long-form comparison covers six pages, each exploring a different aspect of the software. I cover the different options available, and give my opinion on what works well and what doesn’t.

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  • Mapyx Quo Review

    Mapyx Quo
    (click for full-size image)

    Quo is the name of the digital mapping software produced by Mapyx. I’ve been using Quo for around ten years, and as part of my mapping software comparison article I decided it was time to review it fully. I really enjoyed writing this review, as I learned much more about the software by exploring it in detail. I cover what works well, and what doesn’t, and who I would recommend this software to.

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  • OS Maps Review (plus eDofE Mapping)

    Mapyx Quo
    (click for full-size image)

    OS Maps is the slightly-too-generic name for the web-based mapping software published by Ordnance Survey. I’ve been using it for around five years, and it has improved substantially in that time. It’s also grown hugely in popularity, probably due to the scratch-off codes that are included with OS paper maps nowadays. I covered the main features as part of my mapping software comparison article, but this review goes further and explores the software in more detail. I also cover the differences between OS Maps and eDofE Mapping, which will be interesting to those who use both systems.

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  • Ewden Beck (14km)

    My latest Peak Challenge walk was inspired by a photo that I took on Christmas Eve 2020 from the trig point on Whitwell Moor, near Stocksbridge. The image quality isn’t the best, but the valley you can see in the background is Ewden Beck. It looked picturesque, and walk-round-able, so I decided to make it my next walk.

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  • Derwent and Moscar Moors (17km)

    I had decided that my next Peak Challenge walk would be a big one, so I picked a big area I’d not walked before. I had driven along Mortimer Road many times but never found the view across Derwent Moor to be particularly enticing. At least today’s covering of snow made it look slightly prettier and a bit less bleak! This was a varied day, and there were times when I was alone in the fog with barely a tuft of heather sticking up above the snow, and there were other times when I was surrounded by families out on their Saturday walk. I was glad to have finally explored this area, and I think I picked a great day to do it.

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  • Peaknaze Moor (10km)

    The second (ish) of my Peak Challenge walks was completed with my brother on a cold December day. It passed through 6 grid squares but only netted me 3 new ones, as I’d done a couple of sections before. Despite that, it didn’t feel repetitive, as the challenging weather and good company made it an enjoyable walk.

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  • Midhope Moors (11km)

    The first of my Peak Challenge walks was close to home, and allowed me to tick off 8 new grid squares. An exploration of the moorland above Midhope and Langsett Reservoirs, taking in Pike Low and Mickleden Edge.

    I really enjoyed this walk, because although the area looks empty on the map, and bleak at first sight, in reality it’s packed with interesting features.

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  • Starting my Peak Challenge

    I’m lucky to live right on the edge of the Peak District, but despite that, when I’m planning a trip, I always feel the urge to travel to the Dales, the Lakes or Snowdonia. I feel like I’ve “done” the Peak District, but really I know that isn’t remotely true.

    To give me ideas for new areas to visit, I’ve decided to visit every single 1km2 grid square within a defined area of the Dark Peak. I’m calling it my “Peak Challenge”.

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