27 – 29 January 2012, I did the Pooltocht orienteering race with my friends Rob Hofman and Jeroen Keultjes in the woods near Luhden, west of Hanover, in Germany. (This was the 2nd Pooltocht I participated in and my 3rd orienteering race). The event is organized every year by scouts from Enschede (the Netherlands), and the races are always in wooded areas in Germany.
How does a race work?
At the start of the weekend, every team gets a map and coordinates of a number of posts, and the goal is to find as many posts as you can, as quickly as possible, only using a map and compass. The team that finds the mosts posts, in the shortest time, wins.
It’s a great way to improve your navigation skills (some areas of the map are even blacked out to make it a bit more difficult) and a good workout because you walk around 30 km per day in hilly terrain with a backpack carrying all your gear. In a Pooltocht, both nights you sleep in a sportshall so no wild camping.
This Pooltocht we (Team Bushcraft) walked 65 km and ended up 7th of 43 teams in the ranking. Pretty intense hiking, a good atmosphere with the other teams and great fun.
Here are some other orienteering weekends that I participated in over the years.