I had been thinking about getting involved in Orienteering during the winter months but didn't really feel confident to just turn up at a meet so when the Guides advertised an Orienteering Course I thought it would be a good way to find out what it was all about.
So at 8.30 this morning a group of seven of us met the Instructor out at Fred Jacoby park in Mundaring. It was quite cool - guess who didn't have a jumper? However, it didn't take long to get warm once we got moving.
The first part of the course was spent looking at sample maps and learning to recognise various symbols and understand contours. We then moved onto using compasses and then we did a little relay game. My girls had come up the park and were hanging out with Dad while I was doing the course, but they joined in on this game.
After morning tea we were given a map to the main challenge of the day. The Instructer said that the course wasn't suitable for children, but I decided to take my eldest with me (I had a radio so I could call my husband to come and get her if it was too much). We were given the option of doing the whole course or only 2/3rds of it if we were running short of time. However, when we got to the 2/3rds marker we still had quite a lot of time remaining so decided to do the rest. My daughter did the whole thing with me, I was very proud of her as there wasn't a single word of complaint the whole time.
The course was very steep in places, we basically caught up with most of the other participants at one checkpoint because none of us could find it. We worked in a group from there on in. After we eventually found that checkpoint and then the next one we ended up on a embankment - most of us decided that going down on our bums was the most effective method of proceeding.
There were a few slips and slides, most of the route was pea gravel, pine needles or dust (especially in the area that the dirt / mountain bikes used). My daughter was nearly taken out by a mountain bike - I managed to drag her out of the way just in time. But all in all it was a challenging and fun event.
The major challenge took just on 2hrs and I burnt around 1300cals - so a great workout too.
I've now got the program for the various orienteering events around Perth over the winter as my eldest and myself are both pretty keen to do more of this. Unfortunately they run on Sunday mornings, so it is a choice between shooting or orienteering.
I also realised that having limited vision in my right eye (due to this virus) meant that my depth perception was affected, which increased the challenge in places! I think I'll wait until my eye is fully recovered before doing another course.