Orienteering is a very popular sport in Europe and now its popularity is spreading around the world. It was a Swedish Military Exercise for developing path-finding skills and dealing with unfamiliar situations.
People of any age can play this sport. Orienteering sports now include running, mountain biking, skiing, and water navigation. Orienteering is a race in which the competitors use a map and compass to find directions. Here you will know more about orienteering.
How does it work
The participants must use an orienteering map and compass to find directions while maintaining speed just like the typical running or cycling event. They cannot use any GPS, they only have to use the basic orienteering map. There are several checkpoints or controls on the map and the participants have to reach those points.
This orienteering course takes place in a large terrain with various difficulty levels. For example, there can be hilly areas or water bodies that make navigation difficult.
Types of orienteering
The orienteering course can be of different forms and it’s up to the imagination of the organiser. Some part of the course can take part at night or the participants may have to use specific transportation like ski or bike.
The basic orienteering course is the classic one. Here the participants must run to reach the destination and touch all the checkpoints. The person completing the race first is the winner.
In the relay, the orienteering course is similar to a relay race where a team member has to complete a task before the other team member can complete it. The runners may have to pass through some obstacles before reaching the destination.
Score orienteering allows the participants to reach the checkpoints in any order. The person reaching all the checkpoints first before reaching the destination is the winner. There are many other types of orienteering courses, but the ones discussed are the common ones.
You must be well-prepared before taking part in the orienteering course or race. It requires a lot of physical activity and mental stress as well. Months before the race you must start exercising so that you get into good shape.
You should practice running, cycling, skiing, and other activities so that whatever challenges the orienteering race organisers throw upon you, it won’t be difficult for you to manage.
You need to learn how to read a map and compass properly. There won’t be any GPS during the race, so you need to read the map and identify the directions accurately so that you don’t waste time going in the wrong direction.
As it’s a race, you must reach the destination faster than the others. So, there should be minimum room for any error in deciding on the direction.
The race sometimes takes place in a different country and in that case, you must take your health insurance. As it’s a race of great physical activity and you have to cross difficult terrains, health insurance will be helpful in case of accidents.
Orienteering is a fun and exciting sport. It also has several physical and mental health benefits. It can also help you develop your navigation and decision-making skills. You must try it!