The exercise turned out to be so exciting that it had to graduate into a sport. It is quickly catching on and it is easy to see why – anyone can do it.
After the second world war, the popularity of orienteering skyrocketed. By then compasses had become a lot more reliable and could be used fairly easily as opposed to the clunky and unreliable compasses used by the early pioneers of the sport.
Today, anyone can join orienteering events. They are also a mainstay of Boy Scout and Girl Scout camporees a testament to the accessibility of the sport. As orienteers increase in skill so does their courses. In tougher course, technological gadgets such as GPSs come in handy and are indispensable as the orienteers equipment.
If you are planning on learning the sport for enjoyment, you will be glad to know that the sport is for all people or most ages. As long as you are fit enough to run and can read a map well enough then you can join this event for fun or for competition.
Sprint events are speed events. The goal of the game is to get from the starting line, through the control points, and to the finish line as fast as possible. This is one of the most common types of orienteering events and can be participated in by individuals or by groups.
Relay events involve teams of competitors that usually take a mass start. The team with the least total time each team members time is added to the total time is declared the winner. To avoid clumping of competitors and the dogging of those ahead teams usually follow different routes. This makes the game fair for all those involved.
Score events give participants a set time to visit as many control points as possible. The control points may be of differing scores. If this is so, then the object of the game is to garner as many points as possible. The points may vary depending on the difficulty of finding the points.
Night events force the participants to navigate in the dark. To keep visibility acceptable reflective gear are used. These courses are challenging yet fun for experienced orienting enthusiasts. Many of the major orienteering events have night courses to spruce up the challenge.
String events involve the use of a string to guide the participants along paths. This is used by children and adults who are new to the orienteering sport. It is a great way to get initiated in the way of the orienteer.
In order to properly consider yourself an orienteersman, you should have the proper gear. Such gears include maps, compasses, running gear, gaiters, GPS equipment, backpacks, and running attire. There are also cleated shoes that are especially designed for such events. But typically, any shoe will do as long as it holds out in evil weather, and gives good traction even when wet. Orienteering attire can be made of nylon or lycra. Gaiters help enthusiasts battle itchy and troublesome undergrowth and shrubs. Other than that, all you need are the maps and compasses to get your bearings.
Discovering Orienteering: skills, techniques, and activities by Charles Ferguson
Discovering Orienteering: Skills, techniques, and activities helps you learn the basics of the sport. Discovering Orienteering distills the sport into easy-to-remember skills, techniques, and processes that are reinforced through more than 60 learning activities. Several chapters offer strategies for moving beyond the basics and preparing to compete in an orienteering event.