Author Topic: Orienteering  (Read 924 times)

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Orienteering
« on: 30 December, 2021, 10:16:39 pm »
I've been interested in orienteering as it sounds a bit like audaxing and might give it a go in 2022. Does anyone here do it and have any tips for beginners?
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #1 on: 30 December, 2021, 10:20:33 pm »
I have been known to do Mountain Bike Orienteering.  I'm not sure that it is much like audax but it is (mostly) great fun.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #2 on: 30 December, 2021, 10:23:09 pm »
I've been interested in orienteering as it sounds a bit like audaxing and might give it a go in 2022. Does anyone here do it and have any tips for beginners?

Haven't done it in years, but it's the only sport i have trophies for.

Tips:

- it's often better to spend a couple of extra seconds checking the map, than running 100m the wrong way.

- orienteering specific conpasses are worth it, but not necessarily for the beginner. A thumb compass is lovely.

- don't expect the shoes you wear to ever be the same colour again.

- orienteering gaiters are a worthy investment, but not until you've got some experience.

- it's supposed to be fun

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #3 on: 30 December, 2021, 10:42:15 pm »
Yes, I've orienteered for over 45 years on foot (allegedly running), and 20 years on a bike, sometimes MTB, sometimes on surfaced roads.
It can be all-absorbing, as the navigation is a lot more difficult than audax.
It is usually a solo sport rather than in groups.
I can point you in the direction of a club local to you for a good source of information.
Also lots on the British Orienteering website
https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/newcomers_guide


Pedal Castro

  • so talented I can run with scissors - ouch!
    • Two beers or not two beers...
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #4 on: 31 December, 2021, 06:31:07 am »
Permanent courses do exist, there are/were 2 near me, so that's one way to get used to using an orienteering map if the local club have made them available.

Organised events tend to have numerous course options from string events for young children up through short easy navigation to long tricky courses.

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #5 on: 31 December, 2021, 07:28:21 am »
Hmmm... 

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #6 on: 31 December, 2021, 09:56:15 am »
Not sure where you live, but Lecestershire OC seem quite active.
If you can get this link, it is a thing called Routegadget.
https://www.leioc.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/index.php#112

On the left should be a list of past events run by Lecestershire OC. If you recognise anywhere local to you, click on it and it should show a copy of the orienteering map, so you can get an idea of what they look like.
A lot of those areas are urban (olive green is out of bounds - often gardens).
Some are woodland. Confusingly, wooded areas are white and increasing shades of green. Yellow is open land.

The only Lecestershire OC area I have raced on is Irchester - it's on the old open cast ironstone quarries, and is hideously complicated.
I lost a lot of time on the first few controls till I got the hang of it, then it was fun...

In the less populated regions, we often run on open fells. Here's this year's LongO
https://www.bl.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/#143&course=2
Courses ranged from 5k to 18k.  NB orienteering courses are measured in a straight line, actual distance is likely to be at least 50% more.


Re: Orienteering
« Reply #7 on: 31 December, 2021, 10:11:03 am »
Sorry telstarbox, I think I got your location wrong!
Your nearest club is possibly SLOW - South London Orienteers
https://slow.org.uk/  Lots of info on their website
If you want to see some maps, go to results. The right hand column labelled RG will show maps.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #8 on: 31 December, 2021, 03:48:01 pm »
I think my nearest is Dartford at the moment but South London would be fine too. Thanks everyone
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #9 on: 31 December, 2021, 04:44:32 pm »
I used to compete in Australia. I was a lousy runner but very good at navigation and the courses in Australia were over very very rugged terrain, dense forests, few paths.
Generally, I did well by navigating a pretty much straight line between controls, rather than taking the long easy navigation route round.
I've been informed that UK courses are considerably less rugged and not so challenging in the navigation sense. That's probably partly an artefact of the limited number of dense forests over here. When the forests are available, they tend to be pine plantations, which are very easy to navigate in given that the tree planting is in straight lines
<i>Marmite slave</i>

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #10 on: 31 December, 2021, 08:48:42 pm »
I can't run. Not at all. No.
But, I've used Leicestershire orienteering maps as a way of finding routes for a different sort of afternoon walk, or a challenge for the grandchildren.
I'm not even sure that the world of orienteering realises how versatile and useful their endeavours are.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #11 on: 01 January, 2022, 10:00:14 am »
A big problem for orienteering is it's image.
Organisations like the scouts and outdoor centres with non orienteering-trained staff put on "orienteering" which is just a compass and pacing exercise on a field. Years later, mention orienteering to someone and they say "oh yes, I did that at scouts"......

Some schools, with back up from the local O clubs, do run good orienteering sessions, with proper Omaps of school grounds. But to take it any further needs an enthusiastic and committed member of staff and headteacher and supportive parents. A lot of orienteering events are based in the countryside on Sundays - no public transport, so again parents needed for transport.
Orienteering looses a big proportion of possible participants when they leave school, and cannot continue in the sport.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #12 on: 01 January, 2022, 12:56:54 pm »
A big problem for orienteering is it's image.
Organisations like the scouts and outdoor centres with non orienteering-trained staff put on "orienteering" which is just a compass and pacing exercise on a field. Years later, mention orienteering to someone and they say "oh yes, I did that at scouts"......

Some schools, with back up from the local O clubs, do run good orienteering sessions, with proper Omaps of school grounds. But to take it any further needs an enthusiastic and committed member of staff and headteacher and supportive parents. A lot of orienteering events are based in the countryside on Sundays - no public transport, so again parents needed for transport.
Orienteering looses a big proportion of possible participants when they leave school, and cannot continue in the sport.

We had such a teacher in school. Fortunately there was a league of events run for all the schools in the town I grew up in, each was held in a different park, and we'd visit each one after school by minibus. Same teacher also sorted out minibus to the Sunday events too.

And yes, it did fall apart after I left school. A few years back I tried it again, having borrowed a car to get to the start. It had changed a lot with the funny dipper things instead of the stamps. Still fun tho.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #13 on: 01 January, 2022, 02:32:44 pm »
No need to put a dibber into a control box now.
It's can be contactless, so you can just wave at the control in passing.
Especially useful if the control is at the bottom of a big hole, or the other side of a deep ditch....
And so easy to use on a bike.

Then there is MapRun - whole new game. No control flags, no control boxes.  All set up on GPS, so as you ride or run past the location, your smartphone or watch just goes ping. Came into it's own in the past two years, as it needs no physical set up, and folks could do the event in their own time, so no groups gathering or mingling. Well below the radar of public perception.


Re: Orienteering
« Reply #14 on: 01 January, 2022, 06:43:13 pm »
I was blessed with the sports teachers I had at school. One of them was a chap called Clive Choate.

He represented Australia in international orienteering competitions. Obviously quite enthusiastic to introduce this properly in the school.
He went on in later life to be one of the first people to run a marathon on all continents, the first person to do the blackwood multisport marathon as a single competitor rather than a team. Great chap, great teacher
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #15 on: 01 January, 2022, 07:11:39 pm »
We had an attractive English teacher who liked to run and wanted to get kids into fell running or orienteering. The school backed her and we got a school coach to a couple of local permanent o routes. As a boys school up to a Levels she had  obvious persuasion skills on my year. I'm was already into it so found the lessons on it boring. Then when let loose on a route initially we took it seriously competing as teams. Later on we realised she wasn't supervising us very well so it became a time to lark around and in a few cases get drunk on vodka in a runners water bottle.

For me it was disappointing and I shortly lost interest in the whole sport. That's despite my dad encouraging me by also taking part in events. We mostly did SROC events in South ribble and Preston area. Night and evening events in the summer or weekend events at other times. It's fun and still great training in compass work,  navigation skills and especially route finding skills. Not all direct routes work out the fastest or easiest. I use a lot of o skills when hiking

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #16 on: 01 January, 2022, 07:16:07 pm »
We had an attractive English teacher who liked to run ...
...

 it became a time to lark around and in a few cases get drunk on vodka in a runners water bottle.

For me it was disappointing and I shortly lost interest in the whole sport.
Jeez. What more did you want??
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #17 on: 01 January, 2022, 09:11:58 pm »
We had an attractive English teacher who liked to run ...
...

 it became a time to lark around and in a few cases get drunk on vodka in a runners water bottle.

For me it was disappointing and I shortly lost interest in the whole sport.
Jeez. What more did you want??
Honestly? Something that would get the teacher into trouble. Jeez! Lycra has a lot to answer for! 😆

Seriously though,  I enjoyed orienteering as it's not just physical prowess but there's a mental aspect in the navigation which in my case made up for the lack in physical process. I just wanted to do the sport but it was just a cv thing for her while getting her own training in on the school's time.  She was really into various running disciplines and her boyfriend was a GB team member. She left a year later for other things.

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #18 on: 04 January, 2022, 12:23:46 pm »
A big problem for orienteering is it's image.
Organisations like the scouts and outdoor centres with non orienteering-trained staff put on "orienteering" which is just a compass and pacing exercise on a field. Years later, mention orienteering to someone and they say "oh yes, I did that at scouts"......

I have to say as a scout leader I am probably guilty of this, though I used a 1:2500 map as I had GIS systems available, marked the locations of the stamps around the housing estate and sent the scouts out (in groups) to get the controls in any sequence they chose. We were fortunate enough to have proper markers and the pattern stamps.

My aim was using familiar roads to get them to use the map to work out where they needed to go and which paths to use. I also set them a par time, ranking would be by, over time, then the number of controls collected, and finally by the time under par. It worked well but didn't require a compass!

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #19 on: 04 January, 2022, 07:26:00 pm »
As long as it uses a map and involves navigation to set points that's fine by me.
Not unlike the street events we sometimes use for training in poor weather. And they often don't even use control markers, just numbers of telephone poles etc.
And Urban Orienteering is now very popular (not my idea of a fun day out, but it is fast and concentrated).
It's the point and plod exercises that depress me.


Re: Orienteering
« Reply #20 on: 04 January, 2022, 08:03:22 pm »
I took part in orienteering events when at secondary school.  From memory there was a permanent course in Lyme Park near Stockport.  It was British Orienteering Federation back the 70s.  It was my geography teacher who encouraged us to give it a go.  He let us borrow the school Silva type 3 compasses for the events. Maps which you only got at start were 1:10,000 and you then went to a board to copy the control locations onto your own map.   Unlike audax you choose how best to tackle the controls as longer but better terrain may mean you reach a control sooner than the more direct route. One thing I remember being different about the maps was that the grid lines aligned with magnetic north unlike OS maps where they are grid north. Making map to compass or other way round straightforward when the difference was 9 degrees west in the UK back then

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Orienteering
« Reply #21 on: 04 January, 2022, 09:03:40 pm »
I did some orienteering when I was around 13. One of my classmates was part of a full on orienteering family where all five of them were age group champions or something like that (and Dad was a Concorde pilot just for good effect!). She coaxed a few of us along and we did the beginners course whilst she did the more advanced stuff. It was great fun, and I remember the thing about copying the controls from a master map to your own as Phil has said.

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #22 on: 04 January, 2022, 09:38:28 pm »
It was great fun, and I remember the thing about copying the controls from a master map to your own as Phil has said.
Nowadays, most events have pre-printed maps for each course. So no need to copy it yourself.

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #23 on: 04 January, 2022, 09:48:36 pm »
I did a bit when younger and enjoyed it tremendously. Whilst hopeless at cross country running, getting out and about in local forests whilst being very occupied with map reading along with lots of other like minded people was great fun and sometimes hugely frustrating but also provided great satisfaction on completion. Highly recommended.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Orienteering
« Reply #24 on: 05 January, 2022, 12:54:09 pm »
It was great fun, and I remember the thing about copying the controls from a master map to your own as Phil has said.
Nowadays, most events have pre-printed maps for each course. So no need to copy it yourself.

Eh? that removes part of the skill - getting the locations correctly copied, with order numbers.

My old maps have all disappeared into the detritus of youth. Weirdly, my parents preserved a pistol shooting trophy ('most consistent junior'; I was consistently bloody terrible), but not my orienteering stuff (where I was actually quite good).
<i>Marmite slave</i>