Getting started in orienteering is something which can be most exciting and rewarding. Those who are new to this will want to learn more about it, so they are well prepared for their first adventure.
Is Orienteering for You?
Not everyone will enjoy orienteering. Most who do, say that it is easy to get started and that there are plenty of resources to help with this. Before signing up for an event, an individual should ask themselves a few questions, such as:
- Do I want to explore new areas?
- Will I enjoy using items such as maps and compasses for navigation?
- Do I like timed events?
- Do I want an activity where I can socialize with others?
These are all important questions because they directly relate to what orienteering has to offer.
The Future of Orienteering
One of the concerns which some people have when getting started with orienteering is whether this is something that is going to last or whether it is just a fad. The answer to this is that it is here to stay, as it has been around for a very long time. Some factors could affect outdoor orienteering in the future, such as changes in climate, as this could alter the way that orienteering is now enjoyed in some regions.
Support and Resources
Newcomers to orienteering should rely on as many resources as they can to help them get started. Many of these resources will be the same ones which experienced orienteers continue to rely on throughout each adventure they participate in.
The Learning Process
Deciding to participate in orienteering is a great choice. However, more decisions have to be made. Such as what type of orienteering does a person want to become involved in? Some of the common choices are:
- Orienteering by foot
- Orienteering by mountain bike
- Orienteering by cross country skiing
Which one should be chosen is going to depend on an individuals level of fitness, skills, and personal preference. Most who are just starting with this activity will begin their learning about it by choosing foot orienteering first.
Choosing a Club
The majority of individuals who want to enjoy orienteering regularly will find a club to join. This is a great starting point, as these clubs have everything the newcomer is looking for. They can provide all the information that a newcomer to this activity needs. Also, they will have plenty of events which the newcomer can participate in. When choosing a club ideally, one should focus on the clubs that support the style of orienteering that the individual wants to participate in.
Not all clubs are situated in the country either. Many clubs are inspiring and provide some excellent city orienteering events right within the city itself. A good example of this is the Toronto Orienteering Club. One basic course that is utilized by this club is High Park, which is located right in the heart of the city. Although centrally located in the city, it still offers the challenge of getting lost and is a great starting point for the beginner.
The Right Equipment
Newcomers to orienteering will need a certain amount of equipment. This will depend on the type of event they are participating in. For example, walking events will demand good hiking shoes. If it is a cross country skiing event, then the skis are going to be important.