How to Learn from your First Orienteering Outing

Go back and do it again!

I had so much fun getting lost yesterday (yesterdays post here) I decided that I was going to try the course again.  Remember how I missed my intended route to the orienteering marker by overshooting the first ridge?  This time I went back with my dog and tried to navigate the course in a different way.

I turned my gps tracking on and stuck it in my backpack to record my steps.  Out came the map and compass to have one more go at it.

navigation plan My plan was to walk down the trail to the creek and go over the first saddle in the ridge.  (like I was supposed to do yesterday.)

Then down the drainage on the other side to the road.

Up the road then West to the large drainage that runs south to the second stream.

Up the stream to the marker.  Take picture of dog at the marker.

Stay dry.

Then up the stream to the first drainage.

Follow the drainage up to the clearing at the top of the hill and head Northeast.

Eventually I would run into the trail crossing my path, a catching feature, or I would run into the road, a collecting feature, and follow that to the trail.

Simply take the trail back to the parking lot.

I also planned to get the dog quite muddy, wet, and muddy again.

This time, I think I did a pretty darn good job.  Here is my gps track.

It was very useful to take a slightly different route to the marker than the day before.  I was able to properly recognize features found on the map.  I also now can really see the saddle that I missed yesterday.  The middle of the saddle is so long and flat that it does not look like a saddle at all.  If I had not payed attention to my pace count closely, I would have missed it again.

I would highly recommend trying this as practice for map and compass navigation.  Much was learned the second time around.

Oh, and the muddy dog:

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