Forum: Northeast Region
Topic: GPS-O Event (Webster, NY)
started by: mafg

Posted by mafg on May 27 2005,6:09 am
On Saturday, June 4, 2005 the Rochester Orienteering Club (ROC) will host a GPS-O at their meet at Webster Park with start times from Noon to 2:00 pm.

Traditionally, an orienteering event is designed to test the compass and map reading skills of the participants - and, if they are so inclined, it can also test their endurance and speed. Usually several courses of varying difficulty are laid out at each meet. The courses consist of flags (controls) that are placed out in the woods or in the park. The map that is provided for the event has the locations of the flags marked on it and together with a clue sheet and a compass, the orienteers make their way around the course competing to achieve the fastest time to find all controls. Of course, you don't have to compete, you can simply go to have an afternoon of fun. As you can see, except for a few minor differences, Orienteering and Geocaching have a lot in common!

The actual event will go something like this:

You arrive at the meet site and check in at the registration table to sign your waiver, get your unmarked map, your list of clues, the coordinates of the controls, and your punch card. Maps are $3 for members and $6 for non-members (Extra maps for group memnbers are $1 each).

You may or may not be able to look at your map or the clue sheet until the start time depending on the type of event, but you can enter the coordinates of the controls into your GPS. If you bring the proper cable for your GPS unit, you will be able to download them from a laptop running ExpertGPS or MapSource. I have cables for the Garmin e-Trex Series and the Garmin Map 76 Series.

Once you have everything ready and a course is chosen, you proceed over to the start area to get a start time and to begin your course.

When you've found all the controls for your level course, you head back to the finish table to log your results.

Finally, it's on to the refreshments where you can meet other orienteers and GPS'ers to share stories and to check your results.

Note: If you use a GPS, you may be at a disadvantage since you will not see where the controls are on the map. This will make it harder to avoid impassible obstacles, like streams and marshes. You will need to know where you are on the map and use your GPS display that shows 'distance to next' in order to estimate where the control is on the map and then see if you need to go around something to get there.
If you've never tried orienteering before, now is a good time to do so. You'll be comfortable with using your GPS, and you'll learn about traditional orienteering as well.

If you're planning on attending the meet, please add a log entry indicating your intentions so that the ROC can print up the right number of blank maps for the GPS-O event. If you have any suggestions about how the event could be set up differently, please feel free to post them too.

Hope to see you there!

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