Joined: July 2003
||Posted: July 17 2003,7:17 am
The location has changed. I'll give you more details when they are available (09/14/03)
So ... lets say I give you a set of coordinates that you can punch into your GPS along with a few clues. Then you go out, with your GPS guiding you, and you do a bit of hiking and a bit of bushwhacking. After a few wrong turns and some adjustments in your course, you finally locate what you set out to find!
I'll bet you're thinking that you just completed another Geocache, right?
In fact, you actually just completed the first leg of the very first Rochester Orienteering Club GPS-O!
On Sunday, October 5, 2003, starting from 12 Noon to 2 PM, the Rochester Orienteering Club (ROC) will host its first GPS-O meet at the Pinewood Girl Scout Camp [N42 26.867 W077 40.413] in Arkport, New York -- just a quick ride from Rochester. Since the camp is privately owned, you should only visit the camp during the hours that the meet is being held. For a map to the camp, click here.
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. 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:
1. You arrive at the meet site and check in at the map table to get your unmarked map, your list of clues, the coordinates of the flags, and your punch card. Maps are $3 for members and $5 for non-members.
2. You look over your materials and you enter the coordinates into your GPS.
3. Once you've got your course plan ready, you head over to the start table.
4. The starters log you in and assign you a starting time (usually within a few minutes).
5. Ready ... Set ... Go!
You're off to find the first flag. Using your GPS and the detailed orienteering map, you should be able to estimate distances and use landmarks to determine a good route to the first control -- and of course, you find it!
6. Now that you've gotten past the first hurdle, it's on to the rest of the controls.
7. When you've found all the controls, you head back to the finish table to log your results.
8. Finally, it's on to the refreshments where you can meet other orienteers and GPS'ers to share stories and to check your results.
If you've never tried orienteering before, now is a good time to do so. You'll have the benefit of using your GPS, and you'll learn about traditional orienteering as well. When you're done with the GPS course, you can test your skills on another course using a compass instead of your GPS.
If you're planning on attending the meet, please post a note indicating your intentions so that the ROC can print up the right number of blank maps for the GPS-O event.
Hope to see you there!
Edited by mafg on Sep. 14 2003,6:11 pm