Our Philosophy

Cost

Some orienteering events are expensive, with or without extras: t-shirts, door prizes, banquet, entertainment, etc.  To keep costs down, we keep things simple.  We focus on a well-run event with no frills and no big bills.

Maps

Our maps have less detail than a standard orienteering map, but more detail than a USGS map.  Recently (March 2018) released LiDAR data and fieldwork (2019/2020) make our St. Lawrence County maps more accurate.

Non-Collective Orienteering

One of our criteria for a successful rogaine is, after the first and before the last control, that we never see another competitor (and not just because we are off the map).  A parade of participants from one control to another defeats the whole purpose of navigating with a map and compass only.  We embrace staggered starts.  And we allow solos.

Flexibility (Within the Event Window)

You arrive when you want.  You study the map for as long as you want.  You go when you are ready.  You stay out for as long as you want (up to the maximum).  We have to be there the entire time anyway.

Challenge

Controls at your feet are difficult to find.  Our controls will be hung between knee and eye level (depending on available vegetation).  We prefer to challenge you with:

  • Event venues with minimal trails, abundant parallel features, and/or complex terrain
  • Control arrangements without an obvious route selection
  • Control locations generally not within sight from trails
  • Control locations that may slow you down due to terrain and/or poor route choice

St. Lawrence State Forests have large portions that are generally not runnable.  That means straight-line attack points may not be the fastest routes.  Can you adapt?

Scenic

While we strive for challenging control placement, our main goal is to show you parts of the North Country you would not normally see on a hike.  Given a choice in control location between difficult and scenic, the latter wins most of the time.

Themes

Granted, themes can take away from basic orienteering, but they do allow us to indulge our odd sense of humor.  Beware.

Thinking

Orienteering is a thinking sport.  Thinking does not stop once you have studied the map.  We strive to challenge you by providing you multiple opportunities to think during your adventure, whether because the vegetation just got thicker or the beaver dam you were counting on is not crossable or some other new information (provided by us or by nature) presented itself.

We believe there is something perversely pleasurable in getting penalized for not constantly thinking.

Enjoyment

As Sartre wrote, “The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.  One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”  Damn, more thinking.

Wandering Rocks
(Joseph Shayka & David Vickers)