How to take a grid reference

Posted by Carey Davies on 22/06/2015

Grid references are important in the hills for emergencies, finding features and letting people know where you are. Chris Townsend takes us through how to understand them in this BMC TV video.

How do you convert your location into a string of letters and numbers like 'GR 712164'? And why do you need to be able to? 

Understanding how to take a grid reference can literally be a lifesaving skill. Luckily, it's easy to work out. 

One of the world’s most respected experts on long-distance walking and backpacking, Chris Townsend, takes us through the simple steps and explains why grid references are important. 

Chris is also the BMC’s first hill walking ambassador.

WATCH: How to take a grid reference

WATCH: Other videos in this series

How to take a grid reference

How to take a compass bearing

How to use GPS devices in the mountains safely

Emergency packing for hill walking

Emergency procedures for hill walking

Know your different jacket types

Know your hill walking footwear

How to pack a rucksack


We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.

Did you know that we've just launched a new U27 membership offer for just £1 / month? And with full membership from £1.66 / month, it's never been easier to join and support our work: 

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/join-the-bmc-for-1-month-U27-membership


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