What is Orienteering?
In orienteering you navigate your way between control points marked on a specially drawn map. While there are plenty of people who enjoy the sport competitively, racing between posts in the fastest possible time, it’s perfectly OK to enjoy orienteering at your own pace, whatever your age or level of fitness – and you’ll see more of the parks that way. But you could also get together with members of your club, school or even neighbourhood to organise a competition.
How do you do it?
The orienteering routes are mapped out using a series of distinctive green, red and white posts dotted around Campbell Park, Willen Lake, Caldecotte Lake and the Ouzel Valley Park. The posts are part of a permanent orienteering course that is open to anyone who wants to try out the sport, or simply give a different purpose to their outing to the park.
Each course is represented by a series of numbers. Once you’ve chosen your course the challenge is to use the map – and a compass if you want – to find your way to the control post with that number. When you spot the post – and some of them are quite well-hidden! – you simply write down the two letters engraved on the post in a grid on the back of the map – proof that you really did find the post. If you’re doing the course competitively you should time how long it takes you to navigate your way around.
Maps are available to download below and offer a choice of courses from a gentle 2km to an ambitious 15km, visiting one or all three of the parks.
South Midlands Orienteering Club
Each month in the spring and summer South Midlands Orienteering Club host a monthly orienteering events aimed at beginners and club members. Open to individuals and groups, see our What's on calendar for event details.
To join the South Midlands Orienteering Club and discover how to use maps while having fun in the parks, see www.smoc.info for more information.