New to O?
If you've never been to an orienteering event before, what can you expect and what do you need to bring?
What do I do?
What do I need?
What if it's raining?
You'll get wet! Maps at most events nowadays are printed on waterproof paper - if not you can usually borrow a clear polybag to put your map in.
As you continue with the sport, you'll probably want a few more of the things that you see other orienteers wearing or using, such as:
O-kit can be bought from the specialist suppliers UltraSport and CompassPoint. They both have mobile shops and attend larger events - check the event details to see if they're coming. HOC has a stock of second-hand generic and new club kit - talk to the Equipment Officer or Club Captain.
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How and when can you get some more experience between events?
Neighbouring club COBOC holds club nights every Wednesday from 6.30pm to 8.00pm at Birmingham Outdoor Education Centre (BOEC), Clifton Road, Sutton Coldfield B73 6EB (next to Sutton Park). This provides orienteering coaching and fitness training for all ages and abilities. For more details call or text Dave Ellis on 07714094427.
HOC have some permanent courses. Download or buy the map as directed and make up your own course.
HOC members don't just spend all their spare time orienteering or doing behind-the-scenes work to support the sport. Obviously there's a strong crossover with athletics and other outdoor pursuits, such as...
parkrun - regular Saturday morning 5km runs. In HOC's area, parkrun takes place at Edgbaston (Cannon Hill Park), Redditch (Arrow Valley), Walsall and Worcester.
Open Street Map - free mapping, surveyed and maintained by volunteers. Orienteering's Ollie O'Brien is a contributer and has developed the Open O-Map version which allows anyone to get map extracts in a format suitable for urban and street events.