A different type of orienteering   Leave a comment

I'm back from some desert training in the army. What did I do there? Well, some of it is orienteering, or more correctly navigation. How would you like to try and find your way around on this map?

Obviously, anyone with orienteering experience will do well with any kind of land navigation, but this was a real challenge (and remember – you're doing some other stuff at the same time). The map is in 1:50,000 (this is a scan of the civilian map of the same area), 10m contours, almost totally open, and for every mapped track there are three unmarked ones. In addition, I was riding in an armoured vehicle, which meant I couldn't use a magnetic compass without stopping and moving 10m away.
On this particular excercise I managed to avoid making mistakes, probably because I learnt from the previous day, when I managed to move onto the wrong ridge and spot the "enemy" in the wrong place. That's what training is for, of course. The major lessons are just like in orienteering:

  • Don't forget to check your compass once in a while
  • Take care especially when moving fast (30-40 kph?)
  • Avoid losing touch with the map
  • Don't follow other orienteers (vehicles) blindly

Posted 26/06/2008 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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