The North Face – Never Stop London – Exploration Day Outdoor Navigation skills


Date:        16.12.15

Distance:  Outdoor navigation skills
Location:  Dorking, “In the woods”

Since The North Face opened a new store on Regent Street, London, they have free outdoor training sessions every Tuesday. On top of that, they organise outdoor exploration days like this on.

 Picture by Flo Kum

We met in Dorking, one hour by train from London and we were picked up to get to a well prepared outdoor area in the woods. It was cold we enjoyed a hot tea and started our first session by learning different knots. 

A few I knew from my climbing sessions to secure the harness…

Picture by Flo Kum

Other knote we used in the Jungle to hang up the hammock. Jon (orange top) still had the light weight hammock which took me right back to our Jungle Marathon experience. Wow what an amazing experience we had.

Next up was “How to build your own shelter?” 

 We were searching for trees or fallen trees/sticks and logs to either trow a tarpaulin over it or built a shelter from scratch. 

We were successfully hiding under our new shelter.

 Jon got all the experiences as an Ex-Marine. He showed us different camping/outdoor gear like the pocket shelter/tent.

This one covers up to 8 people. You step underneath and sit down on the edge. Benefits are, that it will heat up quickly. Good to use when you are hiking, need a rest while weather conditions are challenging or waiting for help.

 “How to make a fire?”

 You start small and than build it up with layering wood on top. To start with you need something easy to light up like a Tampon! Yes a tampon, we learnt, was easy to light up and most of us had a go.

Pic: Burnt tampons 

Picture by Flo Kum

Our last challenge was navigating around in the woods. By night! Picture by Flo Kum

“How to use a compass?”

Picture by Jen Slater

We got a map and had the following tasks to do:

  • Find our current location,
  • Learn how to use the compass,
  • How to read a map,
  • Use the coordinates, 
  • Find the new location and meet up again.

After practicing how to read a map with the coordinates, Jon sent us out into the darkness with just a head torch on. In total we changes the location 3 times which worked out well in teams. However on the way back to the camp we got lost for a few minutes when we trusted our instincts and the map. 

Finally back at the camp The North Face Team had served a very tasty stew and we were chatting away about the wonderful day we had. Marshmallows fun and a little x mas gift made it a perfect day out. 

Love the team work and new knowledge I got! 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

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