I found this useful information about Orienteering from the Peninsula Orienteering Club. Herewith some basic guided information if you wish to learn more about orienteering. Their next event this weekend can be seen if you click here:
What is orienteering?
It is the sport of traversing unknown terrain between designated points without a marked route, using only a map and magnetic compass to navigate.
The club sets up new courses at a different location for each event. Entrants start at intervals, navigate individually and compete on the basis of time taken to complete the course. Group entries are also accepted. These are popular for training purposes and for those undertaking the sport as a family activity.
What to bring
- The only essential items are a pair of comfortable walking shoes and your entry fee.
- A magnetic compass can be helpful aid but is not crucial, particularly on courses designed for beginners.
- Since orienteering is an outdoor activity, you may benefit from bringing items such as:a hat, sunblock, water to carry with you or a jacket, as appropriate.
- It may be helpful to print out a copy of the directions to the event if the area is not familiar to you.
At the event
Locate the registration desk. There an organiser will:
- accept your entry fee, give you guidance on which course to choose and issue you with a control card (punch card) and a control description sheet, materials you will need to take part.
On the course
- The needle of your compass points to magnetic north. Rotate the map to correspond to the terrain around you by aligning the magnetic north direction symbol on the map with the direction your compass is pointing. If you do not have a compass, ask someone who does where north is.
- When you start you are at the purple triangle. Visit the features circled on the map in the order in which they are numbered. You can use any route to get from one to the next and do not have to stay on the paths.
- At each of these control points you will find a flag that looks like the one in the picture above. Its exact placement is given on the control description sheet.
- Record your visit by using the attached pin punch to punch the appropriately numbered block of your control card. Each control point has its own punch symbol.
- There may be areas of environmental sensitivity or of private property with restricted access in or around the event area. These are marked on the map are must not be entered.
- The finish is represented by two concentric purple circles. It is often the same place as the start, in which case the start and finish symbols are overlaid.
- Report to the finish before leaving even if you did not complete the course. If you do not do so by the time the event closes it will be assumed that you have become lost or injured and a search for you will be initiated.
What to do if you get lost
Since orienteering is intended to be a navigational challenge, losing one’s way from time to time is a normal part of the sport. Relocating yourself is therefore a key skill.
- As soon as you think you are lost, stop and orientate your map. Look around for features of the terrain which you can match to features shown on the map. For this purpose the mostreliable features are large, distinctive or in occur in distinctive combinations.
- If you have a poor view of your surroundings, it can be helpful to climb to higher ground or move into an open area. It is however usually counterproductive to walk around haphazardly.
- Try to remember where you were when you were last certain of your position, how far you have come since then and what you have seen since on the way. This can help you narrow down your location to a smaller part of the map.
- If you are able to, consider retracing your steps until you are back at a known position, such as the previous control point.
- Once you have a theory about your location, test it as you move off again by confirming that the terrain you observe in fact corresponds to what is shown on the map.