Orienteering: A great summer sport for skiers

Orienteering: A great summer sport for skiers

Looking for ways to get outside this summer, while waiting for the next ski season to start? Try orienteering – it’s a family-friendly, exciting sport and great off-season activity for skiers. It builds physical and mental speed, agility and endurance by challenging the brain and body to work together in a race against the clock.

It encourages participants to explore many types of terrain: pavement, mud, water, sand, gravel, trails, roads, dense forest and open fields. You need to go up, down, around, across, over, under all sorts of things and you get to see tons of beautiful hidden spots in the woods.

What is orienteering?

Orienteering allows you to enjoy and explore the outdoors, build navigation skills and be active all at the same time. It can be as hard or as easy as you like – many people walk or hike. The aim of this sport is to locate a series of checkpoints (called controls) by using a map and choosing strategic routes (both on and off trail) to find them all as quickly as possible. Participants work alone or in groups, using only a course map and compass to plot their route.

Is there orienteering happening in Ottawa?

Orienteering in Ottawa is a hidden gem and vibrant community. In Ottawa, we are lucky to have one of the strongest orienteering clubs in the country, the Orienteering Ottawa. This group hosts many events throughout the year (every weekend in the spring and fall) and provides programs tailored to all ages and abilities. Ottawa skiers may recognize, and benefit from their knowledge of, several event locations such as Wesley Clover Park (home of Kanata Nordic) as well as Nakkertok.

How to get started

You can try an Orienteering Ottawa event or keep an eye out for future introductory clinics. Orienteering Ottawa events happen all year long, incorporating different sports such as running/walking, skiing, skating, snowshoeing and mountain biking. Events in the spring (April through mid-June) and in the fall (September to early November) happen almost every Sunday morning in various locations around the Ottawa area. A complete list of upcoming events and recent results can be found on Orienteering Ottawa’s website: https://ottawaoc.ca/index.php.

Their spring and fall programs target youth ages 6 to 18 years, adults, and people who are interested in racing. They also offer customized programs for groups.

Memberships and season passes for events can be purchased from Orienteering Ottawa. A membership has a variety of benefits including discounts at events, membership in Orienteering Canada, Orienteering Ontario, and Orienteering Québec and makes you eligible for provincial, national and international events as well as sponsored programs and courses.

Visit Ottawa Orienteering Club for more information. https://ottawaoc.ca/index.php


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