A man slipped on wet ground and sustained a lower leg injury. It wasn't easy to locate him, since he had no map or other means of determining his position. He did have a pamphlet describing his walk, and luckily the weather was clear, so we could spot him once we were in the area. He wasn't anywhere close to a path when he was located.
It is essential that you can navigate.
Relying soley on a GPS, either free standing, or software on a smart phone, is a hazardous strategy, and can land you in trouble.
Being able to orientate a map to the ground you're are on, recognise features on the ground as they appear on a map and being able to tell you direction of travel and distance travelled are skills that not only make remote area travel safer, but it is also VERY satisfying.
If your party gets lost, you cannot blame someone else for navigation errors. It's EVERYONES responsibility!
Courses are available and they are often taught on a day out, so you don't waste time sat in a classroom.
The ability to navigate and keep moving in poor visibility, extreme weather, darkness and in unfamiliar terrain is a vital skill.
Not taking a map and compass in the first instance is unforgivable!