The Basics Of Orienteering
Overnight you might have a look at some of the basic of orienteering and find that there is more to it than you first thought. However, what you see in the field may not match what you read in the manual. So, let’s take a look at some of the basics of orienteering.
The term orienteering is relatively new and is used to describe a sport that is played on land with dogs at the ready to provide the guide. The first written reference to the sport was made by Englishmen in the 17th century, who made notes from a tour they took with their dog Parvus on the Scandinavian peninsula. At the time, the landscape looked much the same as it does today. The basis for the game was that the dog was to follow the rovers – those stray animals that the hunter would spot and mark with sticks.
Each mark was made with a very tiny, accurate box, similar to a modern GPS system. The marks on the map became called “routes” and the dog had to find them to win. The game has been played by numerous groups of people ever since and, over the years, there have been many variations to it. However, it is a relatively simple game to understand if you just learn the basic rules.
The two basic movements are following and running. The dog follows its own trails and the pursuer (the hunter) follows the dog’s trails in the opposite direction of where it is going. There are many variations to these basic activities but the most common variations are described below. It is easy to understand that the sport of orienteering evolved to meet the needs of people hunting the animals rather than trying to hunt for them.
One variation is a simple turn, where the animal takes a turn to either the left or right of the hunter, and then the dog follows the same trail in the opposite direction. The hunter gets one chance to follow his dog and loses that opportunity when the animal veers off.
A second variation is a running game where the dog follows the trails that the hunter throws out. Once again, the hunter makes one turn to the left or right and once again the dog follows his trail in the opposite direction. However, the third variation has even more variations as the hunter can mark and throw in as many paths as he wishes and the dog follows only one path.
Once the hunter chooses a path, he can mark the dog off as complete, start the dog in the correct direction, or keep the dog to the side. If the hunter has a time limit and the dog has a time limit then the game is called “chase” and the dog is a “chaser”. The last variation is that if the hunter leaves the dog alone then the dog is a “trace”.
Once the basic rules are understood, the hunting game will be easier to understand. On that note, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head into the field. First, your dog must be trained and you must have good, clean, dry weather.
This requires you to erect some form of rain-proof shelter, which you can use in bad weather. Secondly, if you have a mountaineering tent, you should make sure that it is thoroughly tested for high winds, and the roof should be waterproof. The structure should also be robust enough to withstand the weather and the dogs’ weight.
The dog, on the other hand, should be properly trained and checked on a daily basis, particularly in bad weather. And of course, as mentioned above, it should be taken out in good weather, and you should practice with your mountaineering shelter in order to make sure that you are ready for bad weather. One common mistake in orienteering is getting a new dog out to the field and expecting him to get good results in the first try. As a matter of fact, most dogs will never succeed in orienteering, so a bit of time is required to develop the skills.
Many people tend to use the concept of hounds that pull, or dogs that trail, but the true key to orienteering success is having the animal’s stamina. and the correct training.
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