Scouting Skills...

How to Pitch a Tent

Pitching a tent is the process of putting the tent up correctly. When you actually reach the point of erecting the tent itself bear in mind a couple of points.

How to Strike a Tent

Techniques do differ, and to be honest there are several different 'types' of ridge tent. However the basic principles are very commonly used.

Tent Maintanence

Maintenance of tent involves looking after it so that it will last many years.

Compass - Basics

Choose your compass with care. The most appropriate type for use in scouting is probably the orienteering compass. A good one will have a well balanced steel magnetic needle that settles into position quickly. The needle should be coloured differently at each end, usually red at the north end. If the tip glows in the dark then even better.

Compass - Bearings

A bearing is a 3 digit angle measured clockwise from north. It is a way of indicating direction without ambiguity. 

Compass - Magnetic Variation

The important thing here is to remember that a compass points not to true north (e.g. the north pole, the geographical northernmost point of the Earth) but to magnetic north (the magnetic north end of the Earth's 'bar magnet'). These two are not in the same position (indeed the position of magnetic north varies with time).

Compass - Setting up a Map

The grid lines on a map are not always an indication of north and south (unless they are actually lines of longitude and latitude) although they are normally fairly close to it.

Compass - Triangulation

Triangulation is a way of using the compass and map to fix your position. There will be times when you are not sure of your exact position, or indeed when you are completely and utterly lost! 


Fire has many uses from providing heat for warmth and cooking to signalling and boosting morale. 

Knife Skills

A knife is perhaps one of the most useful tools you could have at camp. Given enough time, patience and ingenuity most problems can be solved with the safe use of a knife and its application.

Axe Skills

An axe can be a very useful tool in camp. Note however that there are many different types of axe and they tend to be suitable for a limited range of work. In Scouting this should not present too much of a problem as we tend not to use the more 'specialist' types of axes.

Mapping - Contour Lines

Contour lines are a way of representing height and structure on a flat map. In real life the landscape around you is full of (Three dimensional) features, rolling hills, sudden drops, gentle inclines, steep spurs and flat farmland.

Mapping - Coordinates

Coordinates are a mathematical way of defining a point or a region. They usually rely upon a numbered grid system, and an agreed method to pin a particular point down. This sections aims to introduce and teach the basic concepts and skills required for using map coordinates.

Mapping - Map Symbols

Map signs differ from map to map. These are extracts from an Ordnance Survey Landranger map.

Mapping - Route Planning

Planning a route from A to B on a map (and therefore in real life) is a very important skill.

Mapping - Scales

To be useful the map has to show features in real life proportionately smaller than they really are, else you would end up with a life-size map and that would be a waste of time! The proportion that is chosen for the map is called its scale.

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