Monday, March 3, 2008

What is it about?

Well, quite simple. In this blog I will share my Orienteering experiences, observations and tips. If you don't know what Orienteering is here is a formal definition from BOK (Backwoods Orienteering Klub) web site:

Orienteering is a sport which involves the mind and body. It can be an individual sport, or shared with your friends or family. With the aid of a map and compass you find your way on foot across the countryside from check point to check point. Your imagination and skills help you to choose the best route. You set your own pace in orienteering. It can either be a casual hike through the woods with the added fun of using an excellent map to find the controls, or a competitive race of navigational skill, quick decisions and physical speed. The course has orange and white markers called controls at the check point locations designated on your map. You visit each control and verify that you were there by perforating your map with a coded punch hanging from the control. After visiting all the controls on your course you proceed to the finish and check in.

Essentially it all boils down to you being along in the wood with a map and compass, trying to find the best (shortest and quickest) route from one control to another.

I love this sport, have been doing it for 17 years and hope to be able to keep doing it even when I am old. I started to compete while in a university back in Belarus, never stopped and was very fortunate to find an orienteering club (yes, BOK) in the Raleigh area. In the last year or so I also started to do a little bit more for the club including organizing events and some mapping. It opened a whole new dimension to my Orienteering life and I will be writing about it here as well. So, we'll see how it goes.

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