In 1886, the word "Orienteering" was first used by the military to mean crossing an unknown territory with the aid of a map and compass. In 1919 Major Ernst Killander of Sweden developed a cross-country competition where runners not only ran a course but had to choose their own routes using a map and compass. Major Killander is considered the "Father of Orienteering".
1. Base Plate - holds the compass dial and where the user will find the direction of travel arrow. 2. Direction of Travel Arrow - the arrow on the base plate that is used to indicate the direction in which you will walk or run. 3. White Index Line - is the line where you read the heading/bearing. 4. Orienteering Box - is a painted arrow inside the compass dial used for aligning the needle to north when calculating a heading/bearing. 5. North/South Needle - The Red part of the needle always points to the North.
1. A circle with a triangle represents the starting line and finish line for the race. 2. The goal is to find a series of CONTROL MARKERS (orange and white) that are circled on a map. 3. The Route is the actual line of travel someone takes when competing in an orienteering race. 4. White Courses are recommended for most beginners - they stick to existing trails, and the checkpoints are easy to spot. There are typically 3-7 control markers. 5. Levels progress from White to Blue with each level becoming more difficult and increasing in distance from 1-8 miles. 6. Most meets are "FOOT-O's" - participants run the course.
5 Steps to calculating a heading/bearing:
1. Orient the map to NORTH 2. Connect the numbered circles using the direction of travel arrow (or side of the compass) making sure the direction of travel arrow is pointing in the desired direction. 3. Place the North part of the compass needle in the Orienteering Box. 4. Make the Orienteering Lines on the Map PARALLEL with the Orienteering Lines on the compass dial. 5. Read the heading a the "Index Line".
Racing and training for orienteering is certain to boost your Cardiovascular Endurance. Running the longer distance courses will increase Muscular Endurance. Running through the woods and up and down the hills will increase Muscular Strength. Dodging and weaving through the wood will improve flexibility. Mentally, there's learning how to navigate, which is probably the most important factor in how well you do. Physically, there's a lot of agility required, with jumping gullies and creeks and climbing things, so you use more muscles than just running.
Final Thought: Orienteering is an excuse to get dirty, get sweaty, and get away from it all, and get lost in the woods so that you can experience the joy of finding your way out!