Exploring the great outdoors while exercising is the perfect combination of my two passions. I’ve always liked backpacking, doing long bike rides, and fishing remote rivers; all three are great physical activities and are ways I break up the workweek with adventure. I first heard about orienteering during high school and geocaching when GPS became more mainstream. I’ve since tried both as an adult for fun and to hone my navigation skills.
Now I invite you to try them! Here’s a description of each to help you get exploring:
- You use a map and compass to get from point A to point B over forested terrain. You can compete against other teams or individuals to see who finishes the trek fastest.
- You get to practise and learn navigation skills (a plus for those with a keen sense of geography). For example, travelling in a straight line might look like the fastest route but in reality it could involve hiking over a hill that could be avoided by a detour. Courses range from easy for beginners to challenging, taking hours to complete.
- Orienteering can help you develop and maintain aerobic fitness. It suits teenagers looking for adventure, individuals who enjoy walking, running, and exploring in the woods, or couples willing to test their abilities and boundaries!
- It’s a world-wide scavenger hunt! Caches are hidden in various locations (some may even be near you right now). At your leisure, you can use a GPS unit or your smartphone to find them.
- To play, simply log into geocaching.com; caches in your area will be ranked from easy to find to extremely difficult. Geocaching is a great way to get in your 10,000 steps (the recommended daily amount) and to explore new areas.
- With BC Family Day just around the corner why not give geocaching a shot? It’s an activity the whole family can do!
Orienteering and geocaching do more than provide a fun physical activity. They are also ways to teach children about GPS, enhance your map reading skills and sense of direction, and help you discover new areas in your neighbourhood or around our beautiful province.