Saturday, May 23, 2015

Orienteering - The Sport of Navigation

Orienteering - The Sport of Navigation 

Author - Amanda Brine

Rating: ****

This article explains what orienteering is and how to do it, the different types of orienteering you can do, and the history behind the sport.

In this article you read about the sport of orienteering, in which you use maps and compasses to navigate through unfamiliar and sometimes difficult to follow terrain using detailed topographic maps in order to find control points. Control points are essentially check points that are used so orienteers can ensure they are on the correct path to completing the course. The article also explains the history of the sport. It was first used as a military exercise in Sweden in the 19th century. The first non-military orienteering exercise was in Norway 1897, and was soon followed by another meet and became a popular non-expensive pass-time. After WWII, orienteering became popular worldwide and in 1961 the International Orienteering Federation formed. There are currently over 70 countries with the IOF and championships are held annually. In 1996 they began attempting to make it an Olympic Sport. In 2005 they considered adding ski orienteering, but they decided to not include any new sports in the 2014 games. Orienteering is a test of a competitors fitness, navigation and concentration skills. The heavily detailed topographical maps are not given out until the beginning of the race and are specially designed so anyone can read them. People are usually started staggered so they do not interfere with each other. The objective of the sport is to reach all the control points the fastest by any chosen route. The control points are marked with flags along the course and when a orienteer reaches the point they are required to punch a control card. There are a couple different types of orienteering such as foot, mountain, ski and trail. They are all mostly the same, just using different tools and weather conditions. The only stand out one is the mountain biking as the players must memorize the map because they cannot carry it along with them as they bike.

I enjoyed this article as it tells you all the different types of orienteering you can do and thoroughly explains how to do them. After trying to do foot with a map and compass, I could not imagine attempting mountain bike and memorizing the entire course. I really enjoy orienteering and this article makes me want to continue doing it.

Brine, Amanda. Orienteering - The Sport of Navigation. 2015. Website.

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