Are you looking for a new activity for you and your family (or group of friends) to do? Something that you may not think of immediately, but is an incredibly fun way to pass the day is orienteering.
And the best thing is, you can go orienteering in a range of ways – on foot, by car, mountain bike – almost any way you can imagine!
So what is this activity exactly?
All About Orienteering:
Orienteering is usually carried out in a competitive sense. Groups of two or more use a map and compass to get from point to point.
Navigational skills do not need to be finely honed in order to have fun doing this kind of activity, as you will be provided with a topographical map, marked with special control points.
This is specially prepared for you ahead of time.
Orienteering was originally devised by training officers for the military in the 19th Century, who needed to know how to navigate across land correctly.
What Are The Rules?
The rules differ depending on the method of transport used for the orienteering activity. So for example, if you are hiking, the rules may be totally different to those used if driving.
However, the basic sets of rules are that this is a race – intended to test speed and concentration, as well as the ability to work together as a team. Once provided with a map, the groups set off, usually at staggered intervals.
The main objective is to reach the end point, but keep in mind, the fastest route to the goal is usually not the shortest, so this may not be immediately obvious!
How Fit Does One Need to Be?
The good news here is, there are courses designed for all levels of fitness and experience, depending on the method of transport chosen. Of course, if you are driving a car, then fitness will not be of major concern.
You will find that many courses are color coded based on ability, and the difficulty adjusted based on this.
Do I Need Any Specialist Equipment?
Not really. It is recommended that you wear appropriate clothing however, and many of the competitive bodies require that competitors have full body coverage, clothing wise. Other than this, appropriate footwear will be needed, but if you like to hike, you will most likely have something knocking around at home that you can use.
A Compass and map will be provided to you by the event organisers, so you will not need to worry about incurring expenses on these.
So if you are looking for an activity that is outdoors, actively physical (or not depending on your fitness level), in a beautiful setting (orienteering courses are mainly set in beautiful surroundings), then you would be hard pressed to find a more compatible way to spend a day out.
Once bitten by the orienteering bug, you will surely be set for more action down the road!
I’ve entered lots of competitions and, not to brag BUT, I’ve won some too so get in touch if you need some pro tips.