Orienteering is often called the “thinking sport”
because it involves map reading and decision-making in addition
to a physical challenge. Maps used in orienteering are very detailed
and large scale (1:5,000 - 1:15,000) to aid the orienteer in recognizing
specific features in the landscape such as boulders, cliffs, streams
and foot trails.
One of the
unique aspects of orienteering is that it can be a sport for life,
because it can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age or experience.
The competitive athlete can experience the exhilaration of running
through the woods at top speed, while the non-competitive orienteer
can enjoy the forest at a more leisurely pace. Most orienteering
events provide courses for all levels from beginner to advanced.
The sport has can also be adapted for small children and people
in wheelchairs. At provincial, national and international competitions,
orienteering courses are classified into numerous age categories,
therefore it is possible to stay competitive regardless of your
age. Some orienteers stay active in the sport well into their
seventies and eighties!
If you love
maps, exploring, and the great outdoors, try orienteering. You'll
be hooked for life! Contact a club
in your area - and they will be able to get you started. Here
are some interesting links to help you learn more about orienteering:
For some helpful videos to introduce orienteering, check:
10 elements of Orienteering (Irish Orienteering Association)