The are taking place in Inverness Scotland in conjunction with the Scottish 6 Day Orienteering festival. WO1 Hunt from the Squadron is running with the Royal Engineers Orienteering team at their training camp (Ex Scottish Compass 15) held in order to develop RE Orienteers of all standards.
At its most demanding, orienteering provides the challenge of navigating over complex and rough terrain whilst running at speed; combining navigational skill and aerobic fitness. To be competitive at this level, an orienteer must train regularly, not only to build up physical speed and stamina, but also to improve their ‘mental’ skill. The skills required of a good soldier are very similar to that of an orienteer: the use of a compass, the ability to estimate distance and interpret the ground, whilst continually making multiple decisions. During an orienteering event a soldier must be confident in their ability, maintain concentration, make decisions under pressure, and sustain a single-minded determination to overcome any setbacks and mistakes. Soldiers taking part in orienteering benefit from improved cardiovascular fitness and stamina, increased self-confidence and self-awareness, an improved ability to make rapid decisions whilst under physical duress, superior map reading skills and learn to ‘read’ the terrain and ‘feel’ their movement through it.
Orienteering can be used to develop many of the qualities that are essential in a good soldier.