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Safety PDF Print E-mail

General health suggestions

Suggestions include:

  • Exercise regularly to keep yourself in good physical condition.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after the event to reduce the risk of dehydration.
  • Warm up thoroughly before orienteering. Include plenty of sustained stretches.
  • Incorporate stretching into your cool down routine.
  • Wear appropriate shoes. Make sure your shoes are comfortable. Don’t buy a new pair of shoes and try to ‘break them in’ during an orienteering event.

Safety tips - getting started

Suggestions include:

  • Strictly observe all rules, cautions and advice from event staff.
  • Make sure you fill out all the necessary paperwork at registration, including the Start Time sheets.
  • Participate in orienteering events held in smaller parks and stick to the easier courses if you are a beginner.
  • Carry a whistle. You are required to blow on the whistle if you get injured or seriously lost. The usual distress signal is six one-second whistles spaced at one-second intervals. Pause to listen, then repeat.

Safety tips - on the track

Suggestions include:

  • Keep in mind that the most direct route is often the hardest. Study the map carefully and choose the most appropriate route for your skill and fitness level.
  • Wear a long sleeved top and long trousers, to reduce the risk of cuts and grazes should you fall.
  • Apply SPF 30+ sunscreen to all exposed skin areas. Reapply regularly.
  • Wear a watch to keep track of time.
  • Keep your map inside a waterproof bag.
  • Observe all ‘out of bounds’ areas marked on the map. These indicate hazards such as mine shafts or electrified fences.

Safety tips - if you or someone else is lost

Suggestions include:

  • Make sure you understand what to do if you get lost or injured. The usual recommendation is to move to the nearest high point (if possible) and continue to blow the distress call on the whistle until help arrives.
  • Only blow the whistle if you are lost, injured or too exhausted to continue.
  • Try to find the hurt or lost competitor if you hear a distress whistle. You must abandon your course if you hear a distress whistle.
  • Make sure you have basic first aid training. You may be the first person to make contact with an injured orienteer.
  • Always return to registration at the end of the event even if you haven’t finished the course. If your name isn’t ticked off, the organisers will assume you are lost somewhere on the course.

What to do if you injure yourself

Suggestions include:

  • Stop immediately if an injury occurs. ‘Running through’ the pain will only make your injury worse.
  • Seek prompt medical treatment for all injuries.
  • Treat all soft tissue injures (ligament sprains, muscle strains, bumps and bruises) with rest, ice, compression, elevation (raise the limb above your heart) and seek advice from a health professional.
  • Do not resume activity until you have completely recovered from injury.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Always call an ambulance in an emergency
  • Physiotherapist

Things to remember

  • Orienteering is running or walking while navigating by compass through challenging environments such as bushland.
  • If you are a beginner, participate in orienteering events held in smaller parks and stick to the easier  courses.
  • If lost or injured, move to the nearest high point (if possible) and repeatedly blow the distress call on the whistle until help arrives.

Also check out the Cyprus Snake Section

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