What is Orienteering?
ORIENTEERING involves using a special detailed map to choose and follow the best route from one control (checkpoint) to the next. ‘Best’ route depends on YOU; it could be the shortest, or flattest, or smoothest or driest, or least prickly or the most certain to find the control easily. It all depends on skill level and physical ability and personal preference.
It is important to keep the map oriented with the terrain. Often, especially in the City Parks, this can be done by lining up obvious, visible features, such as a trail or a river, with the corresponding features on the map. In the forest, where obvious features may not be visible, lining up the north arrows on the map with a compass needle does the job. Illustration
Orienteering can be enjoyed by all as a sport or as a recreational activity. You can RUN, JOG or HIKE the course. You can do it ON YOUR OWN, WITH A FRIEND or AS A FAMILY. (In a competition, the competitive orienteer has to compete on his/her own, but there will usually also be recreational courses for hikers, couples and families).
For the competitive orienteer, fastest one round the course (loop), wins. For the recreational orienteer, there is the personal satisfaction of finding the controls, at the same time as having an enjoyable hike, jog or run through the woods.
Participants of any age or experience are welcome at all Edmonton Orienteering events. Every event, from a low-key city park event to a major championship, has instruction included in the entry fee and an easy course/loop for beginners.
You don’t need special equipment to get started – just wear clothes suitable for the weather and old comfy shoes. For forest events, as a safety precaution, you must carry a whistle – bring your own if you have one. Fees at forest events include rental of SPORTident electronic timing card, compass and whistle if you don’t have your own.
The Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Club runs regular events in city parks and in the forest, from mid May until September. Just turn up at the place and time indicated in the schedule.
Kids Run Wild Programs
The EOOC’s youth division (Kids Run Wild) will be holding a 6 weekly winter session for kids 5- 15 and their parents, beginning on January 30th or February 1st. Details and a link to register at www.kidsrunwild.ca.
The Canadian O-store has thumb compasses, SPORTident electronic timing cards and lots of other orienteering gear, gifts and knick-knacks (including an orienteering themed Rubik’s cube!)
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