Blair, I had developed my map reading skills and techniques well before I came to orienteering - 20 years of tertiary training and work experience as a mine and exploration geologist, so I have always been happy to to leave the map unrotated - more likely to rotate a map that I have folded down to just show the leg being run.
What I used to find more difficult was change in scale from say 1:2000 or 1:4000 during the week at work, to 1:10k/1:15k for orienteering, and had to be careful about distance estimation. Then there was the old Northern Hemisphere tourist trap of the sun position.
I had no idea you were a non-orientater. Fascinating! Do you ever try orienting the map, just for fun? And does that slow you down?
Some of the pilots and navigators I flew with in the AF insisted on using a North-up (instead of track-up) view on the radar while flying low-level. That was not cool. I understand using North-up when flying high level (like a commercial flight) because then you have a picture of where points A and B are and that's really all that matters. But when you are flying lower than the surrounding mountains I really, really preferred having a view that made it super obvious that you had, say, 2 minutes before impacting said mountains.
It is nearly impossible to rotate a Melways while it is open on your lap, wedged under the steering wheel!
I knew I'd become an orienteer the day I was walking down the street reading a newspaper or something, and instinctively turned it when I went round a corner. Guess that never happens to you!
I also don't rotate the map. I remember being surprised when l discovered other orienteers did.
On a similar question, who rotates the dial on a base plate compass?
I use a thumb compass for Orienteering and don't rotate, but use a base plate compass for Rogaining and do rotate and set a bearing.
I tried to change Blair's map orientation at Jwoc in 1991 in Berlin but alas failed.
The disorientating Blair phenomenon used to be reported upon with awe among the juniors of my generation; possibly it still is among the youth of today.
Richard, what's a base plate compass? I rogaine with a non-rotatable thumbbie :)
But your thumb is opposable!
I experimented a bit with doing things differently, both in 1991 as Kay mentions and in the early 2000s, but concluded that rebuilding my technique at that stage would be a lot of risk for no obvious gain, as it wouldn't make any difference to my most significant weakness (holding a line in terrain where there are limited topographic cues, such as flat or low-visibility areas, which meant that for a long time I struggled in places like Finland or parts of Sweden).
At a young age where kids like me have no background in topography (with the exception of reading street maps) IMO it would be very important for coaches to teach the fundamentals of orienteering (Bearings, *Orienting the map North*, catching features) if they are avid like myself and many other kids who wouldn’t have the problem of ditching everything they would’ve learnt in their topography skills. Maybe at my age and younger wouldn’t be a bad idea of swinging the fence of both forms of navigating through the forest, in case we run into a whole pile of metals that send compasses spinning!
I agree - it's definitely the best option to teach those starting out. I didn't have any real coaching as such in my first five years of orienteering (apart from going out the first few times with my father, who was a novice too), and by the time I first encountered a coach I was already running hard-navigation courses regularly.
I only rotate maps for line course bush events (able to thumb the map). I don't rotate for Metro scatter or for sprint events (I think) and the only time I rotate maps for MTBO is on the start line but I rotate it back to north on my way to the first control. Otherwise in both Metro (when I have to navigate and figure out which controls to collect concurrently) and MTBO (spinning a map board) I lose track of where I am.
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