A Beginner’s Guide To Orienteering - Laura Moss
Rating - ***
This article is one of the best guides to orienteering for beginners.
The author starts off with saying Orienteering is one of the most fun things to do once you understand the point. Many people prefer not to roam through the woods or go in places that don't have proper paths. The whole point of orienteering is to find places that are cut from paths and by terrain. Orienteering is the best way to improve your navigation skills and Improve your sense of direction. If you think that orienteering won't be fun than you are wrong. There are so many competitions held around the city that require you to go from point to point or just get as many points as you can. Before you go exploring the woods nearby always tell someone where you are going and bring some device(phone) that you can signal the authorities or someone with. Always bring a compass too and a map if you have one of the area. Remember to dress appropriately according to the weather or terrain you will be crossing. She also states that after you have done your safety and clothing check always understand the map you will be taking along. That means understanding where the major landmarks are and the legend. If the map isn't an orienteering map then also account for magnetic declination. She talks about simple and easy methods you can use to simplify your journey such as thumbing and pace counting. Pace counting is when you find out how many approximate steps it takes you to get to a hundred metres. Using that you can approximate how far you have gone. The article also talks about bringing the proper and right amount of equipment for the amount of time you will be staying out for. For example if you are going to be staying out for the whole day and night than you should be packing a tent and some food. The last thing she talks about is Panic Azimuth. Which is that you should remember the direction civilization is at all times. So just in case you start to panic or something has gone wrong you always know what way civilization is at.
This paragraph has made me think about how I prepare when I am going to go orienteering and how I manage all of the safety check first before I leave. I think I should spend time preparing more for the orienteering session by checking the map and getting familiar with the map. For Example: If I got familiar with a map I would know exactly what to bring to orienteer with. Less equipment needed would be less weight slowing me down. I have learned about pace counting and panic azimuth after reading this article. Panic Azimuth is about safety and always keeping track of which way civilization is. Pace counting is counting how many steps it takes for you to get to 100m. Doing that you can always approximate your progress during orienteering. It has inspired me to pay attention to the map more, to see what I will need and what I won’t. To always know what way civilization is to easily get back. After reading this I will always check and verify the map first. This will make the whole journey for me easier because I will have studied that terrain for a while and will know what to bring and any shortcuts if they are on the path. This article has also made me think about having a direction that I can always travel too in the case of an emergency or if I get lost. Overall a great article that pays attention to many things that beginners should know before they head out to do some orienteering.