DIY Orienteering

During the COVID pandemic, orienteers worldwide were faced with the same dilemma as many others - how to train and keep up their fitness and skills, while being safe and maintaining social distancing restrictions. Out of this, numerous technologies were developed to allow people to orienteer by themselves, without the need for orienteering controls to be placed in the terrain beforehand. These typically involve an app using GPS to track your position during your run, in order to establish when you have successfully reached your control point.

In Ireland, we've settled on MapRun as the app of choice - you install it on your smart phone, and it allows you to run orienteering courses planned by clubs, using real orienteering maps. Your route is tracked in real-time by the app using the phones GPS sensor, and the app beeps to let you know when you've arrived at the correct control site - there generally won't be any physical marker on the ground.

We've found during trials that the best way to use the app is as follows:

If you are more of a visual learner, here's a video where I run though the basics of a MapRun6 course

Finally, There's also the option of a permanent Orienteering course - these don't require an app, just download the map from the associated Coillte website, go to the area, and run around looking for the permanent marker posts.

The IOA has more information on "DIY Orienteering" here - check it out!  They also have a useful guide to map symbols, since not all orienteering maps have them printed on them - worth printing if you need a reference.