I did part of an orienteering course on Saturday and it was great fun. I have done them before but it seems I always forget how much I like doing it. Not only is it fun, but it has great training value. Unlike just going for a hike where you stay on trails, with orienteering, there is no trail. You simply have a map and compass. It is up to you to break brush until you find your flags.

The two courses that I have easy access to have some pretty steep terrain (for this part of the country) and heavy underbrush. You will find yourself exercising your brain and your body. It can be very challenging and rewarding to find your flags. It is definitely not just a typical walk in the woods.

If you are lucky enough to have an orienteering course near by, I strongly suggest that you take a buddy and spend an afternoon brushing up on your map and compass skills.

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3 Responses to Orienteering

  1. Dann June 8, 2010 at 00:19 #

    I did a lot of this back in my boyscout days as a youngster. Good skills! Especially in light of this:

    “Glitch shows how much US military relies on GPS”


    I have a couple of lensatic compasses… anything better out there these days?

    • matthewdanger June 8, 2010 at 07:40 #

      I think it is all a matter of preference. I am used to lensatics so I generally use them when I am outdoors. However, I recently picked up a Suunto MC-2 Global compass that is amazing. The Suunto MC-2 and Brunton 15TDCL are highly regarded compasses. I am hoping to do a review of both soon.

  2. Skeeter June 8, 2010 at 00:55 #

    An Orienteering Course can also be a great opportunity to do a bit of a “shakedown” if you have new packs/gear that you want to get dirty and see how it performs in the field. Hikes are nice, but there is nothing like sweating up inclines, sliding down ravines, and slogging through spiderwebs and thickets to *really* see how well you are going to be able to pack a bit of kit.

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