Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, September 27, 2008

North American Champs Middle - Nice terrain, strange route


Nice terrain.

My route needs a bit of explanation. I started fine, but by the 3rd control, my glasses were completely worthless and I realy couldn't read my map. All I could really make sense of for the 4th leg was - through some contours, cross a trail, up some contours, and then look for a flag on a rootstock. Didn't really look at the compass. I hadn't yet figured out how to deal with the rain and dark forest (which made reading the map extremely difficult for me).

I figured out a technique that worked reasonably well. Everytime the forest lightened up - say a small gap in the trees, I'd stop and wipe of my magnifier, hold the map right up to my eyes, and see what I could make sense of. It worked pretty well but it felt strange. I'm used to be able to read the map when I want to, not when the conditions allow it.

My technique was slow, but worked reasonably well for 3 legs. Then I decided to try to run with the map right in front of my eyes and read through a foggy magnifier. Boom at 8. I went back to my stop and read technique and made my way to the finish.

After the finish, I sought out orienteers who were older than me and wore glasses for some advice. I think the next thing to try is one contact lens for distance and one for reading the map (or even just leave one out and trust that my nearsightedness will allow me to read the map).

This was a terrible result, but the run was actually a lot of fun. It was interesting to have to solve a new problem (being unable to read the map) during the race.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 3:20 PM


What about carrying a small flashlight (LCD keyring type) on those dark forest days?
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