Orienteering Raleigh NC

Backwoods Orienteering Klub, founded November 15, 1978 sponsors events and teaches orienteering in the North Carolina piedmont, around Raleigh, NC.

We invite you to try orienteering with us. Everyone is welcome at all our events. We always offer beginning, intermediate, advanced and expert courses (routes through the woods) at every Regular event.

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Latest News

July 11th, 2016

Results for Lake Crabtree Farsta Relay 2016-07-03

Despite a late start, we had a fun day. Courses were fast and the one slightly misplaced control didn’t seem to slow anyone down. Several results are quite close and Ed and Patrick raced in to the finish with Ed beating Patrick by a bare two seconds. Thanks to Pat for help with setup and […]

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June 30th, 2016

Radio Orienteering (ARDF) August 14,2016

Radio Orienteering adds additional challenges to orienteering.  Just like orienteering staying in touch with the map is critical.  Unlike orienteering, only the start and finish are marked on the map, so right from the beginning you use a directional radio receiver (which we provide) to get bearings to the controls.  Careful navigation and additional bearings provide triangulation to the controls, and when you get close the signal guides you to the control.

Radio Orienteering is ARDF which stands for Amateaur Radio Direction Finding.  It is a sport born in Eastern Europe around the time of the First World War when commanders communicated with troops using radios.  When the radio was broadcasting the enemy could get a bearing on you.

We put transmitters, sometimes called Foxes, out in the woods.  You have a radio receiver with a directional antenna that you use  to find them.  (We will  loan you a receiver and teach you how to use it since you probably don’t have one.)

We will have 4 levels of Radio Orienteering.

  • Radio White 2-3 k – There are 5 numbered controls with transmitters that stay on all the time.  Each transmitter broadcasts on a different frequency.  You find the transmitters in the assigned order by tuning in the correct frequency and using the directional radio receiver to locate the controls.
  • Radio Yellow 2-3 k – The transmitter setup is similar to White, but you can take them in any order so in the beginning you can listen to all the signals to make a good decision.
  • Radio Orange 3-6 k – Again there are 5 transmitters coded 1-5, however, now they are all on the same frequency.  Each one stays on for a minute broadcasting its code and then shuts off so the next one can start.  After they all take a turn it starts over.  You take an assigned subset of the transmitters in the assigned order.
  • Radio Expert (Classic ARDF) 4-8 k – Similar to Orange except you have to determine the order and may be assigned more transmitters.

Save the date, August 14, 2016.  When I get more details I’ll post them here and on the calendar.

Registration is required so we know how many people to expect.

There is more  information and additional links about ARDF at BOK’s Radio Orienteering Page.


May 23rd, 2016

Lake Crabtree members event – Sunday July 3 – Rescheduled

Update 9:33 July 3, 2016:
The event is ON.  Start is delayed to 11:30

We now have approval to reschedule this event to Sunday July 3, replacing the informal event that was originally on the calendar for that date.

We will be starting at 11:00 rather than noon. Please register by Friday July 1, even if you registered for June 5, so I have enough maps.

This event will be a Farsta relay at Lake Crabtree County Park. This is a one-man relay where each participant runs two relay loops. The course is made up of intersecting loops. The number of shared forking controls determines the possible number of relay legs. For example, two loops with four shared fork controls gives 16 possible relay loops. Everyone runs the same total set of course segments eventually, but following might be very risky as two people may set off in different directions at a shared control. You can read more about the format at Farsta example.

There will be orientation to the event format and course assignment at 11:00 and a mass start around 11:15. If you can’t make the mass start, we can start you individually later. Last start no later than 1:00 and courses close at 2:00.

Course level is orange and there are 10 controls on each of the two legs. Legs range from 1.7km to 2.2km with a total for each of your two legs about 3.9km.

Start will be in the small amphitheater just east of the parking lot after the boat rental parking lot. This lot is the 5th driveway on the right after the park entrance. The park entrance is at 1400 Aviation Parkway (First light south from I-40 exit 285). There is a sign for the amphitheater trail on the east side of the parking lot. There will not be the usual BOK signs.

As usual for advanced events, pre-registration is required by Friday noon. This is particularly important for this format as there are two distinct maps for each competitor. JROTC groups who are ready for orange and want a year-end fun event are also welcome to attend.

Please be aware that Pat came home with a tick after we set ribbons. Ticks are out, so take appropriate precautions.

Ian Shields

May 23rd, 2016

Results — Umstead North, 22 May

  22 May 2016, Umstead North Dozens of orienteers, many of whom were first-timers, enjoyed the woods of Umstead on Sunday along one (or more) of seven different orienteering courses that ranged from beginner to expert. Most finishers returned in high spirits, and we hope to see everyone come back to our next open meet […]

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May 14th, 2016

Open event at Umstead North, 22 May

We welcome everyone to come out to Umstead State Park this Sunday, May 22. We will be in the north side of the park, at shelter #1, (GPS coordinates = 35.871679, -78.759139). If you’re coming in a group of 5 or more, please pre-register here to help streamline your registration process, and to help ensure that we print enough maps. If you’re coming solo or in a smaller group, you can save a bit of time at the registration table by filling out your entry form, available here, before you come; although you do not need to notify us that you’re coming. Everyone should turn in their entry form (also available at the event) and start their course any time between noon and 2:00. If you’re new to orienteering, please arrive in time to to get signed in before attending our beginner’s class at 12:30. Make sure that you report back to the finish by 3:00, because we will begin picking up all of the check points (controls) at that time.

One unusual feature of this event will be the offering of two advanced (orange-level) courses that differ only in their overall length.  Course lengths are:

Beginner (white): 2.1 km (14 controls)
Intermediate (yellow): 3.4 km (11 controls)
Advanced short (orange): 3.2 km (7 controls)
Advanced long (orange): 5.1 km (9 controls)
Expert short (brown): 3.8 km (10 controls)
Expert medium (green): 5.7km (14 controls)
Expert long (red): 8.3 km (22 controls)

The beginner (white), intermediate (yellow), advanced (orange) and short expert (brown) courses will pass near park water fountains, which will be marked on your map as either a blue circle or a red refreshment symbol. The medium (green) and long (red) expert courses will have drinking water at one control, approximately half way through the course. The scale of the map for the beginner and intermediate courses will be 1:5000; for the advanced and expert short course it will be 1:7500; and for the medium and long expert courses it will be 1:10000. Magnetic north will be parallel to the page edge (thus no need to correct for declination.) Rootstocks will not be mapped, unless they are used as control locations. In that case, they will be mapped simply with a north-aligned green X.

Participants on all courses except beginner (white) are advised to wear something to protect your legs from Umstead’s off-trail vegetation and blood thirsty insect population.