Amendments, additions and corrections to The Walker’s Handbook


Revised text is highlighted in red

Page 82 Paragraph 5 (Additional information 04 June 2015)

In June 2015 the Ordnance Survey introduced a new numbering system for Explorer maps. All revised editions will appear with the prefix ‘OL’ followed by a number. Thus, until all maps in the series have been revised, two parallel numbering systems will be employed.

New editions of Landrangers and Explorers published from June 2015 will no longer indicate the amount of revision outlined in this paragraph. Instead, all revised sheets will state the month and year that the sheet was last surveyed.

In order to establish the map that you require, go to the Ordnance Survey Map Shop website, scroll down to ‘Buy printed maps by location’ and enter a place name, preferably a town or village. This will bring up, not only the map that you require, but also adjacent maps. A click on the map cover will bring up the stylized outline map that appears on the back cover. This can be enlarged by yet another click so that you can confirm that the location you want appears on the map.

Page 82 Paragraph 6 (Correction 19 July 2015)

For read

Page 101 Paragraph 23 should read (Amended 17 February 2016)

A compass has a free-swinging magnetized needle which, using the earth’s magnetism, points to the north in both the northern and southern hemispheres (but only specialist global compasses, such as the Suunto MC-2G, will work in both hemispheres). This remarkable property of pointing to the north gives navigators a reference point that allows them to move with precision in any direction that they wish and, when used in combination with an accurate map, can take them unerringly to their destination.

Page 121  Paragraph 103 (Amended 23 June 2015)

Stand-alone altimeters work, like a barometer, by recording air pressure which declines at a rate of 1 millibar for every 10 metres of elevation above sea level. The instrument converts the air presure to height data. Some satnavs operate on air pressure but other models rely on satellite signals although these give less accurate results. The accuracy of elevation data recorded on a barometric altimeter depends upon a number of factors including

  • the calibration interval of the instrument which can range from ±1 metre to ±5 metres
  • fluctuations in air pressure
  • the humidity of the atmosphere (air with a high water content is heavier than dry air)
  • the temperature
  • spot heights and contours depicted on maps are also subject to minor inaccuracies

Walkers must bear all these considerations in mind when using an altimeter especially when relying on them for navigating in extreme conditions. Further information can be found at

Page 140 Paragraph 14 (Important correction 23 June 2015)

When walking on a bearing (see 6:50-­6), the direction of the wind and the angle of the slope can cause you to drift off­course. This can be corrected if your previous position, or an identifiable object on the line of your route, is still visible:

a) Turn round, then, without adjusting the compass housing, line up the south­ facing (white) needle with North on the compass housing.

b) The direction of travel arrow should now be pointing to the feature from which you took your original bearing. If it does not, you must move either to the left or the right until the direction of travel arrow points to the feature.

c) You are now directly on course and can turn round and resume walking on your original bearing.

Page 160 Paragraph 9.10 ((Additional information 23 June 2015)

The screen has several modes, often referred to as ‘pages’, which display information through which the user navigates. Each page often has several options which display additional information or perform particular tasks. There are usually pages showing

  • satellite reception, signal strength, and current accuracy
  • current position expressed as coordinates
  • bearing in real time of the direction in which you are actually moving
  • bearing of destination
  • a topographic map or a diagram that shows your progress
  • a navigation page that has a compass-like pointer that indicates the direction in which to travel
  • distance covered from your start (odometer). This is normally as the crow flies between coordinates but in trackback mode, and when the route is downloaded from mapping software, the distance actually covered is measured
  • distance still to go to your final destination
  • current speed
  • average speed
  • trip time
  • elevation (which can be derived from a built-in altimeter, which works on changes in air pressure and has to be calibrated (see 6:102-4), or from satellite signals but the latter may give results that are less accurate)
  • waypoints
  • routes
  • tracks

Page 167 Paragraph 9:38 ((Additional information 23 June 2015)

Be aware that GNSS signals are sometimes jammed locally during military exercises. Information can be obtained from

Page 193 Paragraph 11:60 (Additional information 23 June 2015)

Mountain rescue services are co-ordinated by the police. Most people know that 999 is the number to use for contacting the emergency services but, if using a mobile phone, it is better to call 112. This is because 112 has been programmed into all mobile phones manufactured in the last decade and its use initiates a procedure that all global systems for mobile communications networks (GSMCs) recognize. If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. To register for this service, text ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions you are sent.

Page 216 Paragraph 14:6(l) (Amended 26 March 2017)

A permissive path is a path that is not a right of way but which the landholder allows the public to use, either under sufferance or by formal agreement, but for which there is no intention of permanent dedication. Sometimes a permissive path may be closed on one day every year to demonstrate this point. Permissive paths are only shown on Explorer maps.


Page 221 Paragraph 29 (Amended 19 October 2015)

The Single Farm Payment Scheme has been renamed the Basic Payment Scheme.


Page 234 Paragraph 21 (Amended 24 October 2016)

The Cowal Way has been upgraded to to the status of a Great Trail.


Page 280 Paragraph 56A (Additional information 08 July 2015)

How to pack a rucksack

56A The general principle of packing a rucksack is to keep heavy items close to your back and near the top, but this is not so important for ultra-lightweight backpackers. Other considerations include: 

a) Convenience; as far as possible you want to keep items you are likely to use most, such as food, water and waterproofs, as accessible as possible either near the top of the pack or in an outside pocket.

b) It’s a good plan to keep associated items together in clear, or labelled, plastic bags and packed in ascending order

• sleeping bag (kept at the bottom of the rucksack)
• clean clothes
• laundry
• toiletries
• fuel, stove and cooking gear
• tent (either strapped in its stuff sac to, or secured immediately underneath, the lid of the rucksack)

When you have gained some experience you will pack your rucksack in the order that suits you best.


Page 296 (corrected 27 September 2015)

Paragraph 10

The Criminal Records Bureau has changed its name to Disclosure and Barring Service
The Walking Group Leader Award has changed its name to Hill and Moorland Award

Paragraph 12

The Walking Group Leader Award has changed its name to Hill and Moorland Award