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Who can orienteer?
Orienteering is an inclusive sport. Whether you are 8 or 80, novice or elite - you can orienteer. At Plean Country Park the Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO) have set out a permanent course with fixed markers which you and your family can try any time.
What do you do?
In orienteering, you use a special map to follow a route. The route goes through a number of control points to the finish. Beginners courses will follow strong features such as paths; while the experts will have to nagivate through the forests or across the moors and fields. Each "control point" is a distinctly mapped feature, such as a path junction or hilltop. In the park the control points are marked by fixed posts.
The Thinking Sport
Most events use staggered starts, to help ensure that you get to navigate on your own without interference. The route you take between controls is up to you. You select which way of travelling between controls will be the most efficient for you. The element of route choice is what makes orienteering a mental challenge. It is not enough to simply be able to move faster than other orienteers, you must out-think them as well. Because of this, Orienteering is often called the "thinking sport" because it involves map reading and quick decision-making in addition to athletic ability.
What do I need
- A map. You can download a copy of the Plean Course map from the FVO website permanent course page.
- A clear plastic bag to keep your map dry if it rains.
What you should wear
- Shoes to run in - they may get muddy
- Long trousers covering the legs are best
- And you may want a change of clothes for after - you can get muddy and dirty orienteering!