How to get the most out of your Iceland Orienteering experience?
Orienteering in Iceland is an exciting, physically challenging, and life-changing experience. It is a sport ideally suited for individuals who are outdoor enthusiasts and who also enjoy exploring the natural world. This sport encompasses a variety of skills from biking, running, hiking, to climbing and canoeing. With all the spurting geysers, icy glaciers, live lava pools, monumental mountains, and boiling mud-pools, Iceland is an orienteer’s dream come true. What better way to explore Iceland’s natural beauty than by taking part in an orienteering? How can you get the most out of your orienteering experience in Iceland?
We recommend the following tips to maximize your orienteering experience:
Find an orienteering club
Orienteering clubs are a great way to not only get involved in the sport but also meet new people. These clubs often have training sessions which can help you get acquainted with the sport. Events range from short courses or distances, to longer and more complicated adventures. Be prepared to walk, run, swim, jog, climb, and bike through all kinds of terrain, while partaking in the natural beauty that is Iceland. There are also yearly orienteering events held in Iceland with some pretty interesting prizes. However, you should first experience the country alone, without a competition as Iceland’s weather can be pretty demanding.
Get appropriate shoes and clothing
Due to the variation in terrain, it is recommended that participants wear all-terrain runners, preferably with cleat spikes so as to increase the grip. Iceland features many mountains so the only situation when all terrain clothing is not necessary is when you go through city orienteering sessions.
The type of clothing to be worn depends on the wear, but it is recommended that jeans and shorts be avoided. Track pants, waterproof wear, socks, sun hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves are a must. Reinforced stockings or gaiters are important for avoiding injuries to the shins. Insect repellant, sunscreen, and a water bottle are also good to carry.
Familiarize yourself with the Map and compass
The map and compass are probably two of the most important tools in an orienteer’s kit. Specially-made orienteering maps can be obtained from the orienteering club. These maps differ considerably from conventional maps in that they show more details and with more precision. The terrain, the course (start, control points, and finishing line), and related information are included in the map. Closed areas and hygiene stops are also indicated.
The compass is a crucial orienteering aide. Orienteering compasses are available which are simple to use and are very efficient. It can help for orientation purposes and to find your way towards navigation points.
Love of the outdoors
Only 20% of Iceland is inhabited by people. The rest of the country is dotted with natural wonders such as glaciers, lava pools, mountains, parks, geysers, hot springs, and fjords to name a few. If you have a passion for the outdoors, then this is one of the best ways to see the country and partake in its natural beauty.
Orienteering in Iceland is a sport that is guaranteed to bring out the outdoorsman in every traveler. All that is required is a passion for nature, a good orienteering club, some good shoes and clothing, and a compass and orienteering map. It is a must-do experience for every visitor to Iceland.