Backpacking and wild camping courses

Learn how to go on your own backpacking and wild camping adventures

  • relaxing at a wild camp on dartmoor after a days back packing
  • wild camping on dartmoor national park
  • man learning how to use a water purifier to collect and treat water wild camping on dartmoor
  • crossing the rattle brook stream near Tavy Cleave on dartmoor
  • group cook a tasty meal by a river on dartmoor
  • group smile on the summit of cosdon hill after completing a back packing and wild camping trip on dartmoor
  • person learning to use small backpacking stove to prepare a hot meal while wild camping

From £239 per person

Suitable for wildcamping and backpacking novices

Learn the skills to go on your own backpacking adventures

You do not need to be mega fit! Just bring a willingness to learn new skills

Two nights outdoors - shorter and longer courses can be arranged

Comprehensive joining details and kit list - advice and support

Bring your own gear or try equipment out before you buy your own

Qualified mountain leader, outdoor first aid qualified and fully insured for all activities

Map reading courses gift vouchers

Vouchers can be bought for all map reading courses and outdoor skills courses.

Gift a voucher and let the recipient book a course on a date that suits them.

Vouchers can be now bought now and used within 6 months

Further course details...

  • Latest information
  • What you will learn
  • FAQ...
Tab 1
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Tab 2

Join New Forest Navigation for two days and two nights back packing and wild camping. Over the weekend you will learn how to choose, use and pack equipment to go on your own wild camping adventures. The emphasis will be on developing a light weight and comfortable method of travel.

How to choose safe and suitable wild camp sites.
Camp comfortably, safely and with regard to the environment.
Plan food menus, carry and cook light weight meals and snacks.
Camp hygiene and safe water collection and purification techniques.
Hill skills, safety and navigation techniques including route planning and low visibility navigation training.
How to make the right clothing choices with advice on coping with wind, rain and the expected sun*!

Most specialist equipment, fuel and food can be provided including a quality back pack, light weight tent and stove/cooking equipment.

All you need is to bring yourself, a sense of adventure and a willingness to enjoy and immerse yourself into the souths great wild camping wilderness.

Cost £239 per person if you have your own food, fuel and equipment or from from £289 per person if you want the use of a quality rucksack, lightweight tent and ALL food and fuel. Reduced cost for two people sharing a tent, stove etc.

All participants will be given a comprehensive kit list and equipment buying advice as well as the opportunity to attend an indoor pre trip planning and kit trying session prior to the trip.

I have never done this before...
Those taking part should have a reasonable level of fitness and have suitable clothing and footwear. You should be fit enough to carry a loaded rucksack weighing around 13KG over sometimes rough pathless terrain for a distance of around 14km (8 miles) per day.
The course duration and length can be tailored to your group. One night wild camping adventures can be arranged for individual, couples and groups or families.
The course will only be canceled/postponed due to exceptional weather conditions!

*Sun an optional extra and not guaranteed :-)

Tab 3

Who is this course for?
Anyone who wants to learn how to go backpacking and wild camping. The weekend will be a relaxed and fun way to learn about backpacking and wild camping (not a route march) in the company of like minded people. A chance to try out and ask lots of questions about kit before buying your own!
Am I fit enough?
Try to pack light and only bring the essentials! Nigel will send a comprehensive packing list but you really will not need a lot of kit as the weekend is an opportunity to try equipment out before you go and buy your own. Each day you will be walking around 12-14km across rough moorland (some without paths) carrying a backpacking rucksack weighing around 12KG.
What will we eat? Nigel will put together a selection of tasty food suitable for backpacking both to cook and to eat during Sunday. A menu with various options will be sent out a few weeks before the course. If you have any special requirements then let him know.

Where will we sleep?
Wild camping on Dartmoor sleeping in backpacking tents. Each wild camping site will have access to river/stream water but no other facilities. There are no plumbed in toilet facilities on Dartmoor. Part of the course will be learning how to go to toilet when out wild camping with regard to the environment and maintaining high hygiene standards. Don't let this put you off, it’s not as much of a "big deal as people imagine it to be."

Will I learn how to read a map?
You will be shown how to navigate in moorland terrain, safe route planning and what to do if you are lost! You can learn as little or as much navigation as you like; if you want to come along and just enjoy the walking and scenery, thats fine. Learn essential hills skills and how to stay safe, comfortable and what to do if things go wrong. Learn about river crossings and choosing safe crossing areas and route planning to avoid."

How many people will be on the course?
Will be kept to around 4-6 max to give a quality learning experience. The course will only go ahead with a minimum of 3/4 people. Participants will be notified at least 6 weeks prior to the course date if it is not going ahead and all payments and deposits will be returned without obligation.

Do I need lots of specialist equipment?
No, you do not need to go out and buy loads of kit, ask around from friends or ask Nigel what he has to to lend. Over the weekend you will get a chance to try out/see most items of kit which will give you an idea if backpacking and camping is for you before you spend loads of money. A full kit list will be supplied and Nigel can chat through kit options with you as well. With over 20 years experience of backpacking and wild camping save your self time, money and hassle by l"earning what works before buying loads of kit.

Has over 20 years experience teaching outdoor skills to a wide variety of individuals, groups and young people. With a passion for map reading, back packing and walking he is equally at home exploring the lower level areas as well as the mountains and hills. Nigel is a fully qualified Mountain Leader, outdoor first aid trained and insured for all activities. He is also a nice chap so ask him anything about the course so you feel relaxed and happy about taking part.

Where do meet and leave my car?
Participants vehicles are left at Belstone Village Hall car park, Princetown car park (chargeable) or other moorland parking areas and are left entirely at your own risk. No liability for lose, damage or theft can be made to New Forest Navigation. That said never been a problem before! If you intend to use public transport then get in touch with Nigel who may be able to help arrange pick ups/lifts from suitable places.

Need more information?

Gift Vouchers available for ALL courses...

New Forest Navigation map reading courses start from car parks and villages within the New Forest National Park. The New Forest is located in south Hampshire, South East England. It is easily accessible from the surrounding counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, Sussex and London. No need to travel to Snowdnia or Peak District with the New Forest on your door step!
Course start locations are reached easily from all New Forest villages and towns, which all have a huge range of accommodation options; Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, Lymington, Christchurch, Fordingbridge, Ringwood, Burley, Sway and further afield at Bournemouth, Southampton and Salisbury.

New Forest Navigation

Learn Map Reading and how to use a Compass courses in the New Forest.
New Forest National Park, Hampshire, UK