I'm always looking for any excuse for a little outdoor exercise, and the sport of orienteering has recently become one of my fun pastimes. So what exactly is orienteering? Per my local group, the Cascade Orienteering Club, orienteering means using a map and one's powers of observation to navigate through a course of preset checkpoints. Courses are usually set up at local parks. Participants use a finger-mounted punch tool to electronically record their checkpoint visits. It's closely related to the popular GPS-enabled sport of geocaching.
I've approached orienteering pretty casually so far, seeking only fresh air, new scenery and a decent workout. Many folks, however, are competitive, running hard from checkpoint to checkpoint to get the fastest time (it seems popular with cross-country runners from local high schools). Sometimes, your navigational skills with a compass come into play. See the REI Expert Advice article on navigation basics for a primer.
What stories or advice do you have about orienteering?