If you enjoy the outdoors and like to combine exercise with a challenge, then Orienteering may be the activity for you. Albury Wodonga Orienteering Club (AWOC) provides a variety of different types of orienteering events ranging from traditional bush orienteering events (Bush O’s), to mountain bike events (MTBO), street orienteering around the local streets and parks, rogaines and paddleogaines. A new innovation recently is GPSO, using mobile phones to navigate around a course.
Bush orienteering involves navigating your way around a cross country course, via a series of checkpoints marked physically with orange and white control markers. A specially drawn orienteering map is provided for each course and you select your route between each control marker.
At each orienteering event, a series of courses are set to cater for all levels of fitness and navigation skills. Typically, in Bush O’s, a novice course will be around 1.5 to 3 km in length and will be mainly confined to easily distinguished tracks. As you gain in confidence you can progress through the range of courses on to the longer (approx. 8 – 10km) more challenging “Red” courses which require greater navigational skill and fitness levels. MTBO courses range from approximately 10km to 28km in length.
Orienteering is a family sport to suit all ages, with Street O’s becoming particularly popular with families. For many it is purely a recreational activity, while others enjoy friendly competition at club events, with the more competitive working towards state and national level competition. Orienteering does not necessarily require any expensive equipment. To start with all you will need is a pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes or runners and some old clothes. Long pants are recommended and bring warm clothes to change into afterwards. Make sure you bring a water bottle to events. Compasses can usually be borrowed at each event. Specialist clothing and equipment can be acquired as you become more involved, depending on your own needs.
AWOC’s policy is to encourage maximum participation by keeping costs to a minimum with a small charge at each event for maps, and discounts for club members. We are a small but active club and welcome new members and visitors.
For details about events and more information, please visit https://awoc.org.au