Orienteering for Softies
From April through to September marker stakes like the one you see against the tree steadily appear around the outskirts of Härnösand, until there are 120 points to find, on 6 maps of 6 areas. So far two maps with a total of 40 points have been released.
We were out today and located 15 points, walking 12 km to do so. Now they are registered on the web and give us each 15 tickets in a lottery to win 500 kr worth of outdoor equipment. We met around 20 other people in the forest carrying the same maps! So far about 150 people have found all of the 40 points, and a further 600 people have registered and found between 1 and 39 points.
The whole thing, including the wonderfully detailed orienteering maps, is free, paid for by local sponsors with a little help from the municipality and a volunteer input from the local orienteering club.
I reckon it's a great public health initiative and an excellent example of what a small town of 25000 people can achieve. Congratulations Härnösand!
PS Several other Swedish towns have similar schemes. Do they exist anywhere else?
PPS I backblipped yesterday's picture. If you want to see what a bronze rodgersia looks like check it out.