Personal Gear

Orienteering gear can be as simple or as 'high tech' as you wish.

Sport Ident Timing

Orienteering Ottawa uses an electronic timing system from the German company SportIdent (SI) for its meets. This system is used throughout North America and Europe.

The orienteer carries a small chip on her finger – the SI card- that she inserts at control stations to record the fact that she was there and the time. At the finish she downloads the contents of the chip, receives a printout with split times and total time. Results of all competitors are posted on the web within a day or two. After the event, competitors can compare individual legs with others, chat about route choices, and better determine which was the better choice.

SI cards (or 'dibbles' or 'finger sticks') can be rented ($2.00 per event) or purchased from O-Store online or at Orienteering Ottawa events. (Ask at the SI station - where you see the computer)  Please be sure to secure them to finger and wrist. Ask for help if you are not certain. There is a $40 charge for lost cards.

The initial purchase of this equipment was supported by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture that awards $100 million per year, generated through Ontario’s charity casino initiative, to community organizations.


Shoes and clothing

For shoes, you want shoes with a good grip, possibly with cleats, and that won't be destroyed by a bit of mud and swamp land. For clothing, something that breathes well, moves with you, and does not snag or gather burrs. Quite a challenge.

O-store has specific orienteering wear that meets these requirements. Our local outdoor stores have good general outdoor wear suitable for most needs. 

Our club design clothing is being handled by O-Store.  They have a limited supply but even if they haven't what you want in stock, they will send in a new order when sufficient interest is shown.


Simple base plate compasses can be bought at several of the outdoor/wilderness sports stores such as Trailhead, Bushtukah, Fresh Air Experience and Mountain Equipment Co-op. World of Maps has them also. When purchasing a compass move it around and upside down, move yourself around. Check that the compass finds north quickly - you don't want to be waiting for a compass in the woods while others are running past you. You are looking for speed, accuracy and a 1-3 cm measure. You do not need declination or other added features.

For thumb compasses (used by many seasoned orienteers), see O-Store - a web based but local provider.

Software for GPS watches

If you own a watch size GPS that you carry with you, you can overlay your track on a map at Route Gadget.  With this you will be able to see your race in virtual reality and race against others on the same course.  Our maps are regularly put up on Route Gadget - with the courses so you can post your route and compare both with others and with the actual course.