Handrails

Handrails


Handrails help you to navigate, especially in poor visibility.


Handrails 

Handrails


Handrails are line/linear features, but rather than being just a means to locate oneself, they are a means of navigating in themselves, and are especially useful in times of poor visibility.

Handrails can be any line/linear feature include defined paths, lines of fence posts, walls, fences, ditches (collectively known as field boundaries), pylons, tracks, pipelines, streams etc. The idea is that you can walk along them, be certain of your location, and know that they are taking you towards your attack point or target. In poor visibility you could adjust your route to identify and walk towards a handrail, stick with it for a while before breaking off towards the original route. 

Many handrailing features and field boundaries (fences, walls, ditches, lines of old fence posts) and are not shown on 1:50,000 maps. For this reason 1:25,000 maps are, in the most part, recommended for hill walking in the UK. The extra detail can be a real navigational boost and save time when re-locating.

Example



In this example, a line of old fence posts is clearly visible and are shown on a 1:25,000 map. If the visibility was poor, following the fence posts would ensure that you made progress towards your destination and having some certainty of your location. Without knowing that the fence posts where there, for example if you were using a 1:50,000 map, you would have to navigate using the shape of the land and contours (assuming poor visibility).


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