British Orienteering is supporting National Fitness Day again this year. We are encouraging all those who have never tried orienteering to download one of over 500 Permanent Orienteering Courses across the UK.
As we ease lockdown restrictions, orienteering clubs around the UK are getting together to promote their Permanent Orienteering Courses as a way of discovering the outdoors in a socially distanced way. There are over 500 Permanent Courses around the country and many are within easy reach of towns and cities.
A new video has just been released by the Orienteering Foundation, explaining how to get started on a Permanent Orienteering Course.
The video sets out how to understand the map and how to orientate it to match the environment around you. It gives examples of the checkpoints you could be looking for and shows you how to download a map.
Orienteering is a sport where you have to navigate your way around a series of checkpoints in the fastest time. Permanent Orienteering Courses are exactly that - permanent. They have checkpoints, in the form of posts or plaques, in forests, heathlands and parks, which you can navigate to at any time, and at your own pace.
These courses allow you to discover new areas of parks or forests that are a little bit more off the beaten track, and further from other members of the public. They're ideal for small groups or individuals, so perfect for social distancing.
It's a chance to learn something new, an opportunity for everyone to connect with the outdoors, get some exercise and have the satisfaction of completing a challenge.
Key to all orienteering is the specially drawn map. The film shows how this map works, the way the symbols are drawn and how courses are printed with a start and finish symbol and checkpoints to find on the way round. The film also shows how to line your map up with features to help you go in the right direction. Other than having the map, you need little else to get going. A compass isn't necessary on simple courses, just be dressed ready for the outdoors whether you are planning to run or walk.
Many local clubs have also been developing these courses virtually, and our Virtual Orienteering Courses can be completed using your GPS smartphone or watch. More information on Permanent and Virtual Orienteering Courses can be found on the British Orienteering website.
With the opportunity to select the difficulty of a course, look for a course in a particular terrain, search for wheelchair accessible course or embrace technology with an added virtual element, there has never been a better time to embrace your next outdoor adventure with the sport of Orienteering on National Fitness Day.
If you do one activity today, make sure you download a Permanent Orienteering Course today and go Orienteering!