Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Orienteering

What is orienteering? Since becoming involved with the sport in 1992, I've heard this hundreds of times. And, as the publisher of the national magazine and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Orienteering USA, the governing body of the sport, I'm forever explaining what this crazy thing I do on weekends actually is.

Orienteering is the sport of navigation with map and compass. It's easy to learn, but always challenging. The object is to run, walk, ski, or mountain bike to a series of points shown on the map, choosing routes—both on and off trail—that will help you find all the points and get back to the finish in the shortest amount of time. The points on the course are marked with orange and white flags and punches, so you can prove you've been there. Each “control” marker is located on a distinct feature, such as a stream junction or the top of a knoll.

Orienteering is often called the “thinking sport” because it involves map reading and decision-making in addition to a great workout. Any kind of map may be used for orienteering (even a street map), but the best ones are detailed five-color topographic maps developed especially for the sport. O' maps show boulders, cliffs, ditches, and fences, in addition to elevation, vegetation, and trails.

Orienteering is a sport for everyone, regardless of age or experience. The competitive athlete can experience the exhilaration of moving through the woods at top speed, while the non-competitive orienteer can enjoy the forest at a more leisurely pace. Most events provide courses for all levels—from beginner to advanced—and the sport has been adapted for small children and people in wheelchairs.

Here's a map:

16 comments:

  1. I think even with a map I'd be getting lost pretty fast :) Although it sounds like good exercise (and a nice way to get photographs if you're doing it leisurely!)

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  2. Wow that's pretty exciting. I do something called Geocashing not as in depth as this sport but we use gps compasses to find hidden caches and trade items or logs etc.

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  3. Interesting! I love maps and even took a topography class once...

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  4. This has always seemed interesting and fun to me. You have been doing it for 20 years! wow

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  5. Thank You very Interesting post ... Something New for my brain ;-)

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  6. Very interesting! My hubby was into maps and compasses. He always had a compass attached to his bike and motorcycle.

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  7. wow, very cool! i learn something new every day :)

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  8. Sounds fun, both my kids when they were younger were into geocaching, they loved the little treasures that they would find :)

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  9. How cool. Thanks for sharing this interesting info.

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  10. uniquecozytreasures - I have never heard of it. Sounds like fun and alot of exercise.

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  11. Oh my...this sounds really interesting and fun!

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  12. Wow, this is interesting and something I'd totally be into!

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    Replies
    1. For more info on orienteering in your area, go to www.us.orienteering.org.

      OMG, I sound like an advertisement!!

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  13. I get lost so easy.....I KNOW I'd get lost often. Still....I'd love to try it.

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  14. it sounds so fun but it's not for me- I love being disoriented too much:)) I prefer to have others keeping track of the map when I travel so that I can dream and look around... I know, it's not entirely fair...

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