You don't need much. But like every sport there seem to be experts with fancy gear. Here are the basics.


The most common brand is Silva, and some are available for hire at events. Beginner compasses cost from $20 and standard compasses from $40 at good outdoor shops. Seek advice on what to buy as there are several different types. The best place is The MAPsport Shop which operates at major events and to mail order.


Any sort, but it needs a string to hang it round your neck. HVOC policy is that whistles should be worn at non-urban events, and organisers will check where the terrain or weather warrants it. Buy one from a marine supplier or the orienteering shop.


A good grip is quite a help, and purpose-made orienteering shoes with rubber studs are made. The MAPsport Shop brings these into the country from Scandinavia and they sell for $180-$200. Touch Rugby shoes are widely available downtown and are much cheaper, they are fine if you're an occasional orienteer, their main drawback is that they absorb a lot of water when you go through streams or marshes. If the ground is dry and not too steep, you can wear ordinary running shoes. The children can wear the same as they wear to the playground.


The "guns" all seem to wear a suit made of open-weave synthetic material, and orienteer Unni Lewis of Auckland will make to your specifications. Alternatively you can choose "off-the-shelf" from the orienteering shop. Shorts and teeshirts are commonly seen, with thermal tops in the winter, but any old gear is fine. The orienteering shop can also sell you gaiters to protect your lower legs. Avoid white socks, unless you want them to turn grey!

Club colours are Yellow (main colour), with black and red, and many members use this in their orienteering clothes. In fact there is a Swedish club (I. F. Hagen) with the same colours as us, and we can sometimes get high quality but expensive O-suits from their supplier. There was a club monogram available as a cloth badge, and club teeshirts; but the club logo is under review.

Bring a change of clothing and footwear if you are going to exert yourself!


Often overlooked, since the organiser supplies it as part of your entry. But it's the most important item. Fieldworked and drawn by orienteers, 100's of hours go into them. As most of the work is voluntary, you only pay for part of the real cost. (For hours in excess of 40 on one mapping project, HVOC pays its mappers at $5 per hour.)

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