Orienteering as a Hobby
When we hear the word orientation or orienteering, an educational, vocational or educational orientation comes immediately to mind. However, Orienteering refers to a sports discipline that some people can do as a hobby to keep fit and take care of their health.
What is Orienteering?
This sports modality consists in realizing a race, through space (normally natural ground), in which there are placed a known number of posts or beacons, that each runner must find and visit. The order in which the beacons are crossed is free so that each runner designs his own route. The number of beacons, the length of the route (or extension of the terrain used) and the difficulty of the terrain (slopes, forest, natural obstacles, etc.) are variable and are chosen according to the level of the participants.
The objective of the race is to complete the route (go through all the posts) in the shortest possible time using only the information provided by the map and in any case with the help of the compass as a support tool to guide the map or ourselves.
Orienteering Races Modalities
The best known and practiced modality is the conventional one: individual race and in the light of day. However, other modalities are equally interesting and in some cases more exciting, entertaining or varied:
• Night orientation races. The difficulty added by the darkness of the night is about palliating by choosing shorter routes and easier terrains without dangers. In addition, participants carry a headlamp to facilitate their progress.
Relay orientation races. Each member of a team makes an individual tour; the final result of the team corresponds to the sum of the times of the individual tours of each of its components.
• Orientation with skis. The competition is held on a snowy ground and competitors have cross-country skiing equipment (Nordic).
How to Practice Orienteering?
To practice this discipline you do not have to have great physical conditions or a certain age. What we should have is a good sense of direction and know how to use the tools we can have during the competition.
The compass is the only legal navigation instrument that can be used in orientation. Altimeters and GPS systems are expressly prohibited.
With only this device and some guides located on a map or along the way should be enough to make the complete tour.
Orienteering can be an entertaining hobby if we have a lot of free time and we want to do outdoor activities. It is recommended for adults, retirees, and even elderly people, as there is no age limit to do so, the only capacity.
Related hobbies: Geocaching, Urban exploration