Map: Silver Lake
Point to point flag finding in the dark! Last year’s winner designing the courses. Register by noon Friday to save a few $$:---->
Course is about 8 km long, roughly orange ish in daytime difficulty. There's an obvious bail out point - if you are having a rough time or want to wrap up sooner, just switch there to the short course.
If you don't think you are an owl contender or are newer, maybe start more on the 6 pm end. Owl contestants are welcome to start a little later, check back soon for info on course closing time.
What is night orienteering?
Using a pre-marked, detailed map, navigate your way around to find checkpoint flags. The winner, who will claim the highly coveted SMOC Night Owl, is the fastest to get them all (in order for this event), but all types of participants are welcome - from solo speedsters to groups of friends or families on a memorable night hike.
How will I find the flags?
They'll have some reflective features, so your headlamp or flashlight will pop them when you get close.
What is the format for this year?
This year is a point-to-point course. There is an obvious bailout point if you are having troubles or want to turn in early - you'll still be ranked on a short course. It's rumored to be closer in difficulty to a daytime "medium" than "expert". At Pinckney, many of the trail junctions are marked with posts and numbers, so you can't get too lost and can choose maybe longer but more reliable routes if cutting cross country isn't working as well for you.
Comfy shoes - many use trail runners or trail runners with slightly beefier traction. Old running shoes will work too, just maybe a little more slippery on any leaf-covered hills. Fresh shoes and socks for the ride home can be nice if you accidentally find one of the many marshes.
Long sleeves and long pants are nice as the vegetation isn't always perfect (and can be a little harder to avoid when you can't see it!)
Compass: We have rentals/loaners
Lighting - any headlamp that is sufficiently bright and will last three hours (spare battery recommended unless you really trust your setup). Some examples would be Magicshine or Zebra Light. There are likely yet thriftier options on Amazon or deal extreme. Feel free to ask lighting questions or for recommendations!