Orienteering is a sport involving navigating from point to point through an unfamiliar course as fast as possible, using a map and compass. It is a family-friendly sport with a range of interesting variations including foot orienteering mountain bike orienteering (MTBO), rogaining (similar to orienteering but more route choice) and adventure racing (navigating through a course on foot, mountain bike, kayak and sometimes other disciplines).
The easiest way to get started is to contact a club and join in an event. Orienteering is moving with the times and some events now offer categories for mobile phones and GPS technology. Orienteering events use a range of parks, bushland areas, and even urban city areas. A search of the Orienteering Queensland events webpage will point you in the right direction. Ugly Gully Orienteering Club is very active in Ipswich and holds a number of local events throughout the year. They are a friendly club and welcome newcomers.
Sun protection, sturdy footwear and protection from scratches and insect bites is important if orienteering in the bush, and make sure you have plenty of drinking water and a compact first-aid kit with you at all times. You will also need your own compass – it is best to ask the advice of a club if you are unsure about what type to get.
Orienteers take pride in leaving no trace of where they have been by making sure everything taken onto a course is taken away again. As this sport involves going off-track in the bush, please try to avoid trampling small plants. It is expected that participants will help anyone who is injured, unwell or lost on a course. While most orienteers are respectful to the environment and other people while out in nature, it’s always worth remembering the key things we all need to stick to, to protect what we came to enjoy.
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