One way to experience the outdoors is to try your skills in the art of orienteering, which was traditionally used with military personal to give them a chance to figure out how to navigate by land.
Foot orienteering is a sport that involves map reading, strategic use of time and locations, but there are several other methods of travel including mountain bicycles, ski, trail, canoe or mounted on horseback.
The first public orienteering competition in Sweden was held in 1901 and two famous churches, Spanga kyrka and Bromma kyrka, were some of the special locations that those competing were to find. The international flag for orienteering consists of one white triangle and one orange triangle. Since the beginning of orienteering, the sport has evolved to become a World Game, with specific rules and equipment used.
Orienteering is a terrific way to enjoy your time outdoors and the love of competing against yourself and your friends in something that is not as dull as a competitive football or basketball game can become. The large style event that often lasts twenty four hours is called a Rogaine. It encompasses a large area and often whole clubs compete. One of the desirable features of orienteering is varied terrain as it offers more of a challenge to competitors.
The basic skills of using a compass and reading a map are essential to the outdoor sport of orienteering but the attributes of common sense and a healthy body are not to be discounted either. The International Orienteering Federation has been campaigning for years to have the sport of orienteering as an Olympic sport, but so far it has not succeeded.
Control cards are used by the competitors and the cards are often punched electronically at the specific control point as the competitor reaches it. The use of electronic aids such as a Global positioning device is not allowed. The winner of the orienteering is the one with the fastest time and now with the use of computers, the results can be narrowed down to closer times as the competitors come closer to each other at the finish line. It is a wise idea to do some research and reading to become familiar with this fascination outdoor sport that is unique in itself, then grab your map, compass and find your way to the nearest competition offered in your area.