If you like maps, GPS devices, and adventure, running, walking or cycling across varied terrain, then orienteering or geocaching are fun experiences for all the family.
Get into geocaching
Combine outdoor adventure with the excitement of a high-tech treasure hunt, kids love it! Grab a handheld GPS device (or download a GPS app onto your phone), an Ordnance Survey map and begin your journey into the countryside to track down hidden caches.
Each hidden box (and some are very hard to find) usually has a logbook to record your visit, and often some kind of small 'trade items' left by previous explorers. Take something, leave something, that's the rule. Log your find and share your experiences on the official geocaching site.
To look for caches, sign-up for free to www.geocaching.com. Then search for any location, the quickest way is to enter a postcode, you'll then find coordinates and clues for your nearest caches. Decide which ones you want to bag, download or enter the co-ordinates manually into your GPS receiver or phone, check out the location on an up-to-date Ordnance Survey map, then set out to find them.
There are hundreds hidden around the North York Moors, many taking you to places you didn't know exist.
Please be aware that some of the routes to the caches may be quite strenuous and you need to ensure you’re wearing the right clothing and footwear for the weather and the terrain.
We sometimes run geocaching events throughout the spring and summer where you can use one of our GPS units. These are run with the National Trust and the Cleveland Way National Trail at stunning locations, including Robin Hood's Bay, Ravenscar, Sutton Bank and Hayburn Wyke. Check out our Events for further details.
TFTC (thanks for the cache)!
Orienteering and navigation
The moorland of the North York Moors is the perfect place to hone your compass skills; it's also a great place to have a go at orienteering, whether it's a dash around one of the permanent orienteering courses using just a map and compass or entering one of the many events. Either way, they're fantastic ways to explore more of the countryside.
If you've not tried orienteering before, the idea is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. Several activity companies will show you the basics and many of them provide navigation and map reading training too. We also run compass skills days, see our Events for dates.
Eborienteers is an active orienteering group running events throughout the year in the North Yorkshire area. Their White Rose Orienteering Weekend is one of the most popular orienteering events around, with four days of orienteering races and other activities as well.
Cleveland Orienteering Klub runs events in the Cleveland area.
ASF Mountaineering run two day National Navigation Award Scheme courses at various locations in the North York Moors, starting with Bronze, suitable for those with no prior map or compass skills and Silver. All courses include training and assessment and they offer bespoke courses also organised for groups.
The team at Large Outdoors provide team building exercises, basic navigation courses, activities, events, short walking breaks, yoga and walking weekends and guided day walks.
You'll also find permanent orienteering courses at Guisborough Forest and Walkway, Dalby Forest, Spiers House and Keldy Forest. Maps are available from the two visitor centres at Guisborough and Dalby Forest.
If you'd rather have a crack at orienteering on a mountain bike, North Yorkshire Mountain Bike Orienteers organise an annual calendar of events.