Orienteering

A return to the old ways...

A brief overview...

Orienteering is perhaps one of the oldest sports in human history.Even if it was not considered one. All participants are given a compass and a map (either physical or topographical) and are routed or marked where to meet at certain checkpoints or control areas. It is used for military purposes, and usually is against a clock.

The Fitness Skills

Agility

Commonly, orienteering games include rough or rolling terrain. If players are not moving against a clock, they are running from point to point to surpass followers. Adjusting to the expance where the game is at is key to all other aspects of the activity.

Balance

Some of the arenas where the games are located at may include mixed elements of parkour and balance efforts i.e. crossing a tree over a stream or a narrow rope bridge.

Coordination

Depending on the type of orienteering (as in timed) stopping or slowing down is only 'legal'
at a designated checkpoint where the time is stopped for a few minutes. Running and reading a compass, evading tree limbs or thickets challenging for someone uncoordinated.

Power

Endurance is key. During an orienteering run, repetitive movement is the key. Ability to keep moving without tire is perhaps the pivotal point.

Speed

Many of the forms of games that are used in orienteering are timed as a participant moves from checkpoint to checkpoint. These times are then used to format a split-time record and a time from when one to the next participant passes.

Reaction Time

Ever changing terrain can cause players to lose their balance or other events like cars passing by may players to lose their concentration and not be able to react to running into trees or crossing from a clearing to a river.

Target Areas

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Injury Reduction

Many of the injuries that occur in the games can be simply offset by paying attention. Stretching and practicing running will help reduce/eliminate the running related injuries such as shinsplints, strains, sprains etc. Cuts and bruises from thickets and branches, could lead to eye injury. Impact like slipping down a cliff, falling rocks, and twisted ankles or broken bones may occur.


This can be saved by wearing appropriate clothing. Carrying a whistle is also important as this is a signal for injury or being totally lost. The emergency single is received by a parabolic microphone. Emergency single procedure is six blasts at 10 second intervals for 2 minutes.

Mental Toughness

Many people are prone to keep running and not to check their map. Some others choose to participate in groups or 'alliances' to travel together. Anxiety could cause a miscalculation of direction or location and cause paranoia of feeling lost.