Orienteering - a natural choice

Orienteering has been described as "running while playing chess" and "cunning running". It is easy to learn how to orienteer, but the challenges the sport provides are endless. Orienteering offers an intellectual challenge in addition to ordinary physical exercise.

Orienteering is a sport for everyone, despite the age and experience. Orienteering sport is famous for many mass events, in which elite orienteers and recreational orienteers, men and women, young children and over 90-year-olds can enjoy the sport together. Orienteering is a sport for the whole family - a real sport for all.

Orienteering is not an expensive sport. A map and a compass, and suitable outdoor clothes are all you need to get started.

Orienteering can be practised almost anywhere in the world, in all kinds of terrain from parks to deserts. Orienteering terrain varies from dense, impassable bushes to treeless areas, and from mountains to plains. There are several different forms of orienteering. The international Orienteering Federation (IOF) is the world governing body for foot-orienteering, ski-orienteering, mountain bike orienteering and trail orienteering.

Competitive orienteering involves using a detailed map and a compass to navigate one's way round a course with designated control points which are drawn on the map. On the route, orange and white control markers are set in the places that correspond to the points on the map. The competitors punch their control cards at each control point. The winner of the competition is the participant who has used the shortest time to visit the control points in numerical order. Fast running alone does not make you a winner. You must also choose the best route between the control points and find the markers without wasting unnecessary seconds.

Do you want to know more about orienteering? Please contact the orienteering federation in your country. The address can be found in the visit
website: www.orienteering.org.  

Short Description of Foot Orienteering

Foot orienteering is an endurance sport which involves a huge mental element. There is no marked route - the orienteer must navigate with map and compass while running. The map gives detailed information on the terrain such as hills, ground surface, obstacles etc. To be successful in foot orienteering, the athlete needs excellent map reading skills, absolute concentration and the ability to make quick decisions on the best route while running at high speed.

Orienteers run over rough ground, completely unprepared forest terrain or rough open hills - cross country in the true sense of the word. 
Therefore, considerable body strength and agility is needed. Fitness similar to that of a 3000m steeplechase or marathon runner is required.

There is a wide variety of orienteering events: individual competitions and relays, ultra-short park races and mountain marathon events. Night orienteering with the aid of a head lamp is also a popular form of orienteering.

In uneven numbered years, the best foot orienteers in the world fight for the World Champion titles, whilst the victory of the World Cup is at stake in even numbered years. The programme of the World Championships includes three competitions for both women and men; classic distance, short distance and relay.

Foot orienteering became a recognized Olympic sport in 1977.

RACING SUIT: A lightweight, stretchy suit protects from undergrowth whilst allowing maximum freedom of movement even if it gets soaking wet.

SHOES: Light, strong shoes with non-slip soles allow sure grip on all types of ground - including mud and bare rock.

MAP: The map provided by the organiser shows the course with the control points which must be visited. The map is designed to give detailed information on the terrain - hills, ground surface, and features such as boulders or cliffs.

COMPASS: There is a wide variety of sophisticated compasses to choose from. Basically they can be divided into two main categories: base plate and thumb compasses.

CONTROL CARD: To prove that they have visited all control points in the right order, the orienteers have to punch their control card at each control using an electronic device.

Source from website of the IOF.


Source from website of the SILVA.

Today SILVA products continue to enhance this valued reputation.

Balanced for different Magnetic Zones
SILVA compasses are balanced for different magnetic inclination Zones.
Inclination refers to the amount by which a needle dips, the degree of which, depends
upon the area of latitude the compass is used in.

- Magnetic North
- North of Magnetic Equator
- Magnetic Equator
- South of Magnetic Equator
- Magnetic South