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Orienteering in Essex

Countryside

ORIENTEERING IN ESSEX

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to use a map to navigate around a course consisting of a set of control points and decide your best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, jog or walk the course and progress at your own pace.

Orienteering - the adventure sport for all!

Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. It is a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Some events are “taster” sessions or “come and try it” events specifically aimed at beginners.Orienteering events are put on by clubs and are mainly held at weekends. Most events are open to the general public. Some events are “taster” sessions or “come and try it” events specifically aimed at beginners. However, usually at other events there is an official available who can give help and advice to beginners. Entry fees are about £5 to £10 with a discount for British Orienteering members. But, a couple or family group going round a course together, pay one fee.

Unlike taking a walk in the park, orienteering adds the challenge of navigation while you exercise. At events there will be a range of courses on offer. Longer courses are generally harder requiring you to make use of a wider number of navigation skills. Also, the harder courses take you off footpaths and into the forest where you may see wildlife that you would not see otherwise.

It is a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skillsIn Essex there are three orienteering clubs. Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (or SOS for short) is based in the northern half of the county. The Chigwell and Epping Forest Orienteering Club (CHIG) cover the south west whilst the Havering and South Essex Orienteering Club (HAVOC) are based in the south.

By its nature, orienteering unlike most other sports does not take place regularly at the same location. If it did everyone would be familiar with the location and the challenge of the sport would be lost. So, orienteering clubs use several different locations which are often woods or parks that you probably would not visit otherwise. Each wood or park holds a unique set of challenges and surprises for you to enjoy.

For more information see the “New to Orienteering” section of the British Orienteering website: www.britishorienteering.org.uk and search “Event Information” for an event near you.
Or, phone 01629 734042. Alternatively, contact your local club:
Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society (SOS) www.stragglers.info
Chigwell and Epping Forest Orienteering Club (CHIG) www.chig.org.uk
Havering and South Essex Orienteering Club (HAVOC) www.orienteering-havoc.co.uk

Janet Biggs
Chairman – Havering and South Essex Orienteering Club


Pictures supplied by British Orienteering.
"Map and Compass" © Jeff Dalton | Dreamstime.com

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