How To Use Handrails To Navigate

In my last few navigation videos I’ve
introduced you to some very simple, very basic, almost everyday navigation
techniques that we probably use even when we’re not out navigating. I’ve
introduced collecting features, catching features and in this video I want to
introduce a third technique known as handrails or hand railing. Hi folks I’m
Craig Taylor and as always a huge thanks for joining me here on my youtube
channel the bushcraft Padawan so let’s talk
about this technique handrails or hand railing first of all what is it imagine
that you take yourself away from being in the woods or being out on the hills
just imagine you’re giving somebody directions they want to know how to find
a particular pub for example you might say to them okay just head down this
street here keep the line of shops on your left hand side and then once the
shops run out another couple of hundred meters that’s the pub the line of shops
the row of shops when you told him to keep that on their left-hand side they
were hand railing that row of shops it was there on their left-hand side they
were hand railing it another example might be somebody asking you for
directions to a park or something like that you could say yeah no worries in
order to get to the pack just head over this bridge it’s home left keep going
along keep the canal on your right hand side and as long as you keep the canal
on your right hand side after a couple of miles you’re going to get to that
park the canal keeping the canal on the right-hand side they were hand railing
that canal they would eventually then get to the park so there’s some examples
of handrails or hand railing handrails and hand railing they’re very usually
linear features so we’re talking paths streams tracks the edges of forests
rivers streams they could even be the land itself it could be a hand railing a
valley or hand railing a ridge line so it’s a linear feature sometimes they’re
man-made like trucks or canals or possibly even mud lines it
could be you know it could be a man-made wood or
such a plantation all the time they can just be purely natural but the key thing
is that they have a linear feature now there’s a couple of caveats with putting
all of your eggs in the hand railing basket that I’m going to come onto later
on in the video but for now let’s get the map out and let’s look at some real
examples of a navigational leg where a hand rail hand railing might be useful
to provide you with those real-world examples I’m going to be referring to
the Ordnance Survey one in 25,000 Snowdon map of the area of the Snowdonia
National Park let’s take a look at some of these real-world examples then let’s
look at this particular section of the map then if you look at the bottom
center of the map you can see an almost saddle shaped ring consort line bottom
center come north of that and in the area on the edge of the woodland you can
see some sheepfolds maksim now you could if you wanted to head to those sheep
Falls you could just take a direct bearing to the Sheep Falls
maybe you could aim off I suggest you probably should do and you could just
walk on that bearing taking into account distance pacing bearing terrain analysis
in relating the ground to the map and the maps of the ground you could just do
that however if you wanted to make things a little safer if you wanted to
make things a little more accurate if your impervia bility what you could do
at this point is you could still take into account distance pacing bearings
relating the maps of the ground all of those key navigational things remember
hand railing or any single navigation technique doesn’t necessarily replace
the need or that the the the good practice to use others alongside them
this is a tool kit that you should be using together moving from that bottom
center of the map you could pick up the stream that you can see flowing downhill
from in a northerly direction kundo you could pick that stream up you
could handrail that stream on hill until it hits the the forestry
block until it disappears into the forestry block when it hits the forestry
block you could send left or roughly Northwest and you could handrail the
edge of the forestry block until you eventually got to those sheep Falls so
there are some examples that the stream is a handrail it’s a linear feature the
edge of the forestry block is a handrail it’s a linear feature using those in
conjunction with all of the other navigation techniques that we’ve been
talking about in this video playlists will help to make your and your your
navigation safer more accurate less prone to error let’s take another
another example if you look up towards the top left-hand corner of your screen
you can see a 3-way track Junction and it is also matched up as sheepfold
singular not the sheepfold plural that’s also in the general area sheepfold
singular it’s just below in height the 350 metre consulate if you look towards
the bottom right-hand corner of the screen you can see marshaling more
reservoir we want to move from the sheepfold to the reservoir once again
distance pacing bearing relating the grounds of the map and the maps of the
ground breaking your yoga that entire leg down into shorter chunks all of
those good practice skills should still be adopted but you could also introduce
the concepts of hand railing and the obvious for me the obvious handrail here
is to move on down the stream that’s known as a fond marshaling more
absolutely desiccated the pronunciation of that but you could handrail that
stream downhill until you eventually get to marshalling more reservoir again the
hand railing isn’t instead of applying the other good navigational techniques
that we’ve talked about it’s as well as applying those are the navigational
technique let’s now take a look at another example
of hand railing now this example is not as obvious as the other two that I’ve
shown you near the two we talked about a couple of streams and we talked about a
forest very prominent obvious linear features so let’s take a look at one
that’s not as obvious but could be just as effective if you look roughly towards
the bottom center of the screen you can see a spot height numbered 9 7 8 spot
height 9 7 8 that’s where we are if you look north of there you can see a map
map top as I’ve done area map shoppers can add fat just to the right or the
east of the H of fact there is a Kern it’s quite difficult to see but if you
look closely you can see both the symbol and the word Kern we want to move from 9
7 8 to that Kern now moving in a straight line direction you can see by
the lie of the land there might be a foolish thing to do in a very
time-consuming and potentially dangerous thing to do to try and move in a
straight line between the two we can notice can’t we that there’s actually a
black dotted line indicating a track that pretty much goes from that spot
height of there abouts right past the Kern so we could just follow the track
but bear in mind in wintry conditions in thick snow which North Wales can often
get that track could well be hidden for me the key hand rail here is the ground
itself if you imagine moving from 9 7 8 to the kernel ong that black dotted
truck the ground to the right hand side of you
is going to drop away significantly you are going to be able to detect that drop
even in thick snow trust me so for me that would be the handrail would
actually be the shape and the terrain and the profile of the ground itself is
the handrail I am keeping the steep ground that is dropping away from me
sharply on my right-hand side and of course doing it in snowy icy wintry
conditions we should be careful of cornices and things like that that’s not
really what I want again so in this video what I want to try and get across
is that the shape of the land if it is as distinct and severe is it is in that
image that you’re seeing on the screen if it is that distinct in severe that
could also be a very good handrail feature but remember we’re not just
going from the lie of the land we’re not just going from the steep dropoff we’re
using distance pacing bearing terrain analysis the shape of the land relating
maps of the ground of the ground so that well you were using all of those other
techniques as well as the handrail and the hat the technique being that the
steep ground sloping off to the right-hand side I spoke earlier on in
the video about a few caveats a few things to be aware of if your hand
railing and I want to come to those now now we’ve looked at the the real-world
examples let’s talk about some of the things to be aware of be aware that if
you’re following if you’re if you’re good oh you follow something and use it
as a handrail that you are following the right thing I’ve actually seen a student
a soldier young soldier use pylons overhead pylons as a handrail
that’s a brilliant feature as well I haven’t you know overhead electricity
pylons wonderful things to handrail from unless unless you’re at the junction of
some overhead powerlines and you you go off on the wrong Junction
you’re following in the wrong direction so great concept that he had wonderful
idea of using overhead power lines almost fault was almost impossible to go
wrong unless you’re a junction of paralysing
and you take the wrong Junction off there but again remember but barring
although it can be tricky to take an accurate bearing under electricity
pylons if you’re underneath them or close to them bearing would have told
him perhaps that he was going off in the wrong direction so be aware if you’re
going to use them and there’s a number of them there’s others you know fences
electricity pylons if there’s a number of them in a small area make sure that
you are following the right want but again use of other techniques alongside
it should help to highlight that error if you start to make it and the other
thing to be aware of when hand railing more so with with non ground linear
features so things like forests walls to a degree trucks even forestry blocks
they are subject to change walls can be rebuilt walls can fall down and fences
can be reacted to take into account different land boundaries forestry
blocks of course can be felled on new ones grow it’s not really a big deal
when you’re looking at land a handrail features such as the steep drop-off that
we talked about earlier on in the video the shape of the land and shape of the
land is always changing you could argue but it doesn’t change over the period of
time that we’re talking about it’s a millennia to change but that you know
that more man-made esque features can be prone to change rivers are somewhat less
likely to change but of course you know rivers can be rerouted and land Falls
and things that land slips can cause rivers to perhaps take a different
direction so always be aware that if you’re following a linear feature that
you are you are aware of the potential for the real world which is always
up-to-date correct the real world may have changed compared to what the map is
suggesting but once again if you’re using a handrail technique in
conjunction with other sound navigational techniques it should alert
you to the error if you start to make it it should also alert you to the error
before you even put one foot forward on that next navigation leg we’ve just
spoken there about handrails I’ve got a little piece of work for you to do grab
a map go out grab one of your maps find an area find a navigation like maybe
it’s a navigation like that you’ve done in the past or that you’re planning to
do even if it isn’t just find an area on the map and think okay I it’s not
inconceivable that somebody might travel from there to there
see if there’s a handrail feature that you could advise them to follow if the
reason finds somewhere on the map where where you would use a handrail feature
it could be something like a discuss do something really simple it might be
something a bit more complex but go and find a map now and find something
between two points on that map that you could use as a handrail feature along
with remember help I’m getting this point across some other sounded
navigational techniques as well go and find it if you’ve got the time in the
comments below let me know what the handrail feature was that you selected
from the map why you think that that would be a good feature to follow if you
haven’t got the time to do that but you’ve used handrails in the past let me
know how you’ve gone where was it successful where did it get you out of
this stuck where did it go wrong maybe you were using a hand roll but you a
hand roll handrail but you fell into one of the traps that I talked about just a
few minutes ago where did their hand railing technique perhaps go wrong if it
did go wrong what would the benefit of hang sight could you or should you have
perhaps done to prevent it from of God to prevent it from going wrong back in
the day let me know in the comments below I also talked to everyone in the
video deny about some other videos I put out recently catching features and
collecting features if you’ve not yet had the chance to look at those or your
fancy revision there coming up on the screen I’m just get my head out the way
they’re coming up on the screen now why don’t you click through those take a
look at those and realize how both of those and hand railing can start to come
together to give you some very very simple effective almost everyday
navigation techniques that you can use to enhance your navigation and make new
safer when you’ve got on the ground thanks as always for watching folks if
you’re not yet a subscriber crikey Moses what’s going on you know what to do come
on click on that subscribe button subscribe account is increasing quite
dramatically over the last couple of weeks let’s see if I can hit 3100 off
the back of this video thanks as always for watching folks I really appreciate
and I see in my next video Cheers


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