By Keegan Harkavy
Q) Dear Keegan Harkavy,
My child went to one of your orienteering events on Sunday and loved it! He was wondering if there was any way for him to get better, or any small tips you might recommend?
-Sincerely Samuel Yates
A) Well Samuel the first thing I would recommend is to get your kids to come too as many orienteering events as possible because that’s the best way to learn. When they are not at an event, however, practicing orienting a map of a park or backyard is easy and super helpful. Another thing he can do is look at an orienteering map (you can find one online or at our events) and figure out what everything means by using the legend.
As for tips that may be helpful I have none except to work hard and have fun! On the other hand, there are certain skills that are very important to practice. For a beginner I would suggest working on always knowing where you are on a map. Another good skill is the ability to judge distance by pace counting. You can work on both of theses quit easily. To work on knowing where you are on the map, just place your finger on the map where you are and any time you move, move your finger with you. To practice pace counting just count every other step on all your legs (the route between two controls) then slowly you will get a feel for how many steps it will take to go a certain distance, which will help you know where you are.
Sincerely, Keegan Harkavy