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. To see a sample “leg” on an advanced loop/course with route choices click here.
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 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 or buy one at the event for $1. You can rent a compass at forest events for a small fee.
The Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Club runs regular events in city parks and in the forest, from mid April until September. Just turn up at the place and time indicated in the schedule.
Looking for Christmas gift ideas for an orienteer?
Orienteering gear – SI cards, thumb compasses, clothing, knick-knacks, from the Canadian Orienteering Store, with good personal service.
10 books for people who love maps here
Missing orienteering? Here’s a fun orienteering activity you can do on your computer; it will improve your skills without going outdoors! Match the photos to a sprint course from the Canadian Championships in Whistler last August in this Photo O. Course and photos downloadable.
The 2014 season has finished.
Members will be advised by email of any activities over the fall and winter.