So is there some way of figuring out why you sometimes miss your intended line when using a compass? Bad technique, or lapses in concentration, or senior moments?
I always thought compass skills were both easy to get wrong, but also possible to fix. But maybe not.
Or maybe you like the opportunity to explore parts of the forest you wouldn't otherwise see? I could understand that. :-)
I dunno, but I was certainly getting pushed around by the green that was more substantial on the ground than on the map. Could be all three of your possible explanations, but I think this sort of thing happened to me also when I was way less senior than I am now. That whole thing going parallel to the trail from 9 on the way to 10 as pretty weird, as I thought I was checking my compass pretty often and way weirded out by how long it was taking. Need to practice, need to take my time more.
Ah, so my strategy of courses through vague featureless hillside with some green interference seems to have worked. Good prep for QOC.
I guess I would say bad technique. All I had to do was head north, and I really wanted to head a bit NE and come out near the trail junction, but I kept getting pushed west by some pesky green. I thought I was stopping and checking that I was indeed headed N, but there was obviously a failure there. I remember your story about giving someone a compass lesson that involved beeping every time one looks at the compass and having to call it off as the beeping continued while heading 90 degrees wrong. Seems that is what I was doing.
I'd guess that was the case. And the thicker it is and the lower the visibility, the more careful you have to be to stay on your line. Often much more careful.
As far as getting better, I don't know. Some aspects of orienteering seem to be genetically impossible for some people. I don't know if using a compass to keep on a line is one of those aspects or not. I would think not, but I'm guessing it is.
I can see how genes could affect some crucial orienteering skills, like map processing efficiency, map memory, physical speed and agility, executive function. But following a compass bearing? – you've got to be kidding!
You would think so. But given the list of serial offenders, who one assumes are trying to orienteer as well as they can, it's worth at least considering.
My map memory got quite a bit better for a while when my vision technology involve flipping up and down a pair of reading glasses attached to a headband. It was not otherwise a satisfying way to deal with the problem, and I am back to my normal level. Which is sort of not so bad, not so good. A person can learn a lot of things, and perhaps a compass refresher program would be good for me.
trying to orienteer as well as they can
Well, that's ambiguous. I can "try as well as I can", say, to hit a good golf shot, but I'll likely fail because I've never worked at it. I'm trying hard in the moment, but, in another sense, I am not trying as well as I can (or ever tried much at all) to play golf. Certainly very few orienteers are "trying to orienteer as well as they can" in the latter sense. Even so-called "training" is usually just going out and running a course using whatever skills one already has.
Nice to have a real professor to explain orienteering training to PG.
I doubt it's genetically impossible for anyone. But genetically very unlikely, sure.
I was explaining language. I think we would agree that there ain't much real training going on :-)
Nevertheless, I think there are people who could train a lot on following bearings, with good coaching, and they still wouldn't get it.
It's hard to imagine what sort of deficiencies someone would have to have to not "get it". But like any skill, whether one uses it properly in a race when he or she is tired and stressed is another matter.
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