X Dartmoor Guiding, Navigation Training and Wild Camping

For Adults and Young People....


About Me

I offer Guided Walks on Dartmoor and Training in Map and Compass work, Advanced Navigation Techniques and Advice or Guiding for Backpacking, Wild Camping and Bivvying.  

I am a Professionally Qualified Walk Leader (MLTE WGL), and Have recently undergone 6 days Mountain Leader Training course with a hope to completing ML(S) assessment in 2015.

I have a current 16 hour Wilderness First Aid Certificate and eCRB.  

My given name is Jason Cole, but most people just call me Mole!  

I am the partner of Ruth (The driving force of Fresh and Green) and we live here with our son Oli, at the Fresh and Green site at Southerton, near Newton Poppleford.

I have over 10 years experience working as a trainer with adults, young people and children.
Subjects have included Hedgelaying, Drystone walling, Orchard Pruning, Tree and other Plant Identification, Foraging, Basic Bushcraft and Green Woodworking, as well as Navigation and Outdoor Skills.

Due to the nature of my work with Fresh and Green Vegetables and elsewhere, and nearby location, I am quite flexible time-wise.  You never know, I may be available at short notice - give me a call or text or email.

I can be contacted through this website or on 07425 155 345

Reasonable rates - on an hourly or 1/2 day, or day basis.  If using my own transport, mileage costs apply.



Dartmoor Guiding


Dartmoor offers a varied interests from the natural - stunning Tors, remote wilderness vistas, rocky river gorges - woodland or high moorland, peaty wastelands... to the man-made - prehistoric remains, medieval ruins, industrial archaeology, military training structures, reservoirs... 

Excursions can be tailored to any requirement and level of ability.   I can design a walk around a desired destination, or provide a walk in a particular theme or area. Wherever you would like to go, at whatever level of walking, I can facilitate.  Trips can be combined with Navigation practice exercises and training.

Depending on the destination, walk start points can be from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours drive from Newton Poppleford.  The excursion can be anything from a long arduous walk out to a remote area or a multi-stop tour of some near-road highlights. 

Over the last 30 years, I have spent 400+ days  walking on Dartmoor in all seasons and weather conditions. You can be confident of my ability to guide you safely around the moor and provide all sorts of information about the area and it's features.  

Also, through years of helping train East Devon District Explorer Scouts,  for the Ten Tors expedition,  and also at Tom's Farm Youth Project  I have gained experience of working comfortably with teenagers - including managing many overnight wildcamps.

Advice can be given on footwear and clothing, but basically, comfort is king! e.g. if you are OK with having wet feet in summer, then, In my opinion,comfortable trainers or sandals may be perfectly adequate for Dartmoor.  It's up to you. Some may prefer wellies!  But for longer walks, footwear and clothing worn and carried ought to be suitable for prevailing and possible changeable weather conditions.  

If weather conditions are seriously inclement, or clothing/equipment is deemed unsuitable,  I reserve the right to modify or cancel the excursion.


Navigation Training


Learn (or relearn!)  practical navigation skills. For adults and young people.

Increase your confidence when travelling outdoors. 

I can show and explain the techniques needed to find your way around:  
  • Mapwork - understanding the information displayed and relating it to the land
  • Compasswork - the basics, plus more detailed techniques
  • Natural Navigation - Using Physical Features to aid keeping on track
  • Micro-navigation - Precision Navigation to find specific features 
  • Navigation in poor visibility - in Mist or at Night - micro-navigation
Like anything, once a basic understanding is established in your mind, it can can transform your travelling experience.  Confidence when navigating comes from knowledge and practice, and having the skills, means there is no need to rely on other people or GPS devices (batteries!). And, it's fun.
  
Sessions can be tailored to need and ability -  from the basics of map work and using a compass, using physical features (e.g. land/sun/wind) to direction find, to practical micro-navigation on trails or pathless rough ground on Dartmoor.  You could even practice in the dark once skill level allows!  

I can offer local sessions of just 2 hours, on site or further afield (e.g. on nearby commons for practical exercises), or longer sessions/days out on Dartmoor for a small group or individuals. Evening sessions are possible in summer, as well as night exercises for more experienced.




Walking/Wildcamping/Backpacking Techniques

Walking is a simple pleasure, but once longer distances or rougher/remote/mountainous areas are tackled, it can be as easy or hard as we like to make it.   This is not just about what we do or where we go, but can be dependent on the choices  we may make about what to take and how to care for ourselves and/or our companions.  

Wildcamping and Backpacking are also very popular pastimes. 

I can advise on techniques and equipment to allow a comfortable, safe and sensible outing.

I have experience from coping with travel in scorching heat to backpacking in sub zero temperatures, but most relevant for the UK is how to manage when the weather is wet and cool!  

We can do short daytime sessions locally, a wilder camp nearby e.g. a beach bivvy with a driftwood fire or tarping in woodland,  or plan a wilderness trip to Dartmoor.

From 10 years old upwards. (under 16s to be accompanied by an adult on overnight trips).

Nights out can be organised from an overnight taster session on our nearby hilltop site, a quick overnighter on the beach or commons moor, to a full 2 day backpacking excursion. 

Subjects 

I have 30 years Backpacking experience including several multi-week lightweight treks across the Scottish Highlands.  I also love wild places and playing in the woods and wild open country.

So anything relevant really!  Your choice.  From selecting equipment and clothing, choice of footwear,  to setting up tents and tarps, to making DIY alcohol stoves from recycled drinks cans or firemaking in the outdoors .  

Equipment: 
Examples-  Shelters - from tents to tarps to bivvy bags, clothing, food and cooking equipment, hygiene and safety equipment.  Rucksack fitting and packing. Boots or lighter weight footwear? the pros and cons. A range of types of lightweight equipment can be demonstrated and used. 

Techniques:  
Examples - Campsite selection,  setting up tarps - useful knots, water purification, lightweight nutrition and cooking, footcare, outdoor toilet!  


Philosophy

Through experience, my emphasis is on choosing and using lightweight but adequate equipment, and learning skills and techniques which make living and travelling on foot outdoors more comfortable - physically and mentally
.  
The lighter your pack, the less potential for pain = greater enjoyment of the outdoors. Conversely, too little equipment or knowledge can have a detrimental effect - no one enjoys being cold n wet or hungry!