Saturday May 13, 2023 

Staging area at the Caldwell Dairy Barn
what3words address:

What's this?
Driving Directions from w3w?
FYI: After unloading, buses may be redirected to the Clark Cabin area for overflow parking:

FLO Civilians:
Registration opens about 9:00 AM
All courses close at 3:00 PM

Ridgeview HS will be hosting
First starts will begin at 0900
We expect all competitive JROTC units to have pre-registered.
Venue Notes

This year for staging we are back at the Caldwell Dairy Barn.  Use the What3Words address above for turn-by-turn directions.

FAM offers to orienteers a reduced day use admission fee of $2 per person, payable at the FLO Registration Table . In addition, there will be the usual FLO registration fee of $7 per Map for FLO members, $9 per Map for non-members and, still, a reduced rate of $6 per Map for Groups such as JROTC and Scouts whose leaders register all their groups and individuals at once (this group rate minimizes the crowd and the confusion at the registration table and is well worth the discount to FLO registration volunteers!).

FAM is a highly varied map including many common FL terrain types, from open dry scrubby areas to pine flatwoods to dense wet hardwood areas. The park is divided into an eastern and western zone split by I-95, with a single elevated land bridge over the interstate connecting the two sides. Our shorter, easier courses will stay on the more "civilized" side west of I-95 where all the FAM buildings are, while the longer courses will use both parts, requiring transit via the land bridge.

Some areas, particularly on the west side, have been cleared and will have varying amounts of scrub vegetation depending on how long they have had to regrow.  Other areas are untouched and contain natural Florida habitats from scrub to pine flatwoods to wet hardwood hammocks.  In the scrub areas, shin-high green briar thorns and prickly pear cactus are not uncommon, so wear foot/leg protection, particularly on the longer & harder courses which will have you spending more time off-trail.  The advanced courses stray into old pine plantation areas that have had lots of time to regrow, and in some of these even the "open" rows between the trees now have waist-high vegetation - again, long pants and leg protection are called for.

Deer, turkeys, various water and forest birds, and gopher tortoises are common throughout, so watch for interesting sightings!  Snakes are also common.  These are mostly of the non-venomous types, but the drier habitats might hold the occasional rattlesnake and the marshy areas are attractive to water moccasins, so keep your eyes open and watch where you step.

DO NOT FORGET TO BRING WATER!  Each competitor is expected to carry their own water or to be sufficiently hydrated before competing.  And let’s not kid ourselves about this hydrating thing - it's important.  This is arguably our hottest mainstream event of the season, and sugar sand trails through the open scrubby areas can be quite hot!.  Orienteering is thirsty work, and dehydration can sneak up on you.  You should always plan as though you may be spending lots more time out there than you thought. Carry water and stay hydrated. There will be no water on the courses.

NOTE #1: OB Areas
We will be printing on your map several Out-Of-Bounds areas in purple cross-hatch – they are horse corrals, park maintenance areas, etc. Please be very careful about not infringing on these areas. . And if you encounter horses and riders on trails, ALWAYS yield to them.  Most especially, NEVER run by horses – they may spook easily. This is vital if we are to continue being welcomed.

NOTE #2: Pests
Ticks are common at this venue this time of year.  Be sure to spray generously with bug spray all over your shoes, socks, and pants/legs to ward them off.  Pre-treating your shoes, socks, gaiters, and other clothing with permethrin or DEET is a solid tick defense.  Regardless of precautions, always do a thorough tick check once you are out of the woods.  Also note that this area is fairly low-lying and close to Pellicer Creek, which means nearby marshes, which means mosquitoes. In addition to the usual tiny buzzers, this venue is home to some goat-eating gallinippers.  They're not a problem in the sunny, cleared, and relatively civilized areas around the buildings, but go busting through some marshy underbrush on the long advanced courses, and you'll have an extra incentive to move quickly.

  • White - for beginners. Course is mostly on trails with control points a short distance into the woods. There may be opportunities for those who feel able to take short cuts through the woods.  Length 1.3 km 
  • Yellow - for beginners. Course is mostly on trails with control points a short distance into the woods. There may be opportunities for those who feel able to take short cuts through the woods. Length 3.3 km.
  • Orange - intermediate difficulty. Mix of on- trail and off-trail, generally relying on the more obvious mapped features. Length 4.8 km.
  • Green - advanced course off trail and reliant on the subtler features of the terrain. Length 5.3 km.
  • Blue - the longest advanced course. Length 7.0 km.
  • Violet - trail-running AR course. Length 6.5 km.
Note that the course lengths mentioned above are measured straight-line from point to point to point.  Your actual route on the ground will often be on more winding trails or diverted around obstacles like ponds or dense tickets, so your actual distance traveled will often be 25-50% longer than the stated course length.

If you are new and/or unsure of which course is right for you, ask us at registration and we will be happy to advise you.  Precise course lengths will be on display at registration to give you an idea of how far you'll be travelling to complete a course.  When in doubt, choose an easier course.  If you complete that one too fast and haven't had enough fun yet, you can trade up to the next harder map and go out again!

As usual, there is a 3 hour time limit on all FLO courses, and all courses close at 3:00 pm (1500 hours). JROTC time limits will be 2 hours Yellow, 2.5 hours Orange, and 3 hours Green.

Safety Bearing: For all advanced courses that go into the Pellicer Creek Corridor east of I-95, the safety bearing is DUE WEST TO I-95 and the land bridge back to the western side. We trust you will find your way ‘home’ from there. For the White, Yellow and Orange Courses, lying completely within the FAM property, simply find your way to any visible building to re-orient yourself.

Typical FLO registration fees are in effect: $7 per Map for FLO members, $9 per Map for non-members and $6 per Map for Groups such as JROTC and Scouts whose leaders register, and pay for, all their groups at once (this group rate minimizes the crowd and the confusion at the registration table and is well worth the discount to FLO registration volunteers!).  In addition, registration will collect the park's $2/person day use fee.

The Map

The FAM map is quite varied, and has changed a lot in the last 2 years.  Additional land in the northwestern areas has been cleared, and new trails and drainages have been created. Construction on the model railroad SW of the land bridge over I-95 has also been proceeding apace.  A few new rides have been cleared since last year, and 1 new horse paddock has been added north of the dairy barn staging area.

Considerable pains have been taken to update the map with all of these changes, using modern digital fieldwork techniques.  However, we are still waiting for new hi-res LIDAR here, and so the map is not fully digital yet.
We hope you all enjoy the day and this lovely venue. Thanks for coming out, and Bring A Friend!
Course Design: Ray Bruneau (ray@floridaorienteering.org)
Vetting & Map Update: Blaik Mathews 
(blaik@floridaorienteering.org) & Joanie Haas (joanie@floridaorienteering.org)
This gopher tortoise was munching on vegetation as we crossed the land bridge to the eastern side of the park.
We accidentally knocked this cute little fellow (a rough green snake - non-venomous and harmless) out of his tree as we went through some brush.
One of many beautiful scenes within the park!   :-D
Smartphone prep for orienteering participants:
For safety and event management reasons, we strongly suggest all participants and support staff get the following 2 apps installed and set up on their phones prior to coming to the orienteering event:


Incredibly useful app for conveying precise locations anywhere in the world using a 3-word address.  Such addresses can be easily communicated via voice or text message, and can be fed into navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps to obtain turn-by-turn directions to the corresponding locations.

W3W Elevator pitch

We use this app for:

App for recording your GPS track during your course which will overlay on your map when you're done.  Allows us to track real-time runner locations during the event for safety and operational risk management. Review and debriefing based on the recorded tracks is also one of the best ways to train!
How to install and set up the app: 
  • Check the weather before coming and bring appropriate clothing.  This includes layers during colder weather, cool moisture-wicking clothing in hotter months, and a waterproof jacket or poncho if rain is a possibility (FLO events run rain or shine!).
  • We recommend wearing supportive shoes with a upper tougher than fabric, particularly if you plan to do a course beyond novice level.  If you plan to do an advanced course, you will likely spend significant time off trail.  Covering your lower legs with outdoor pants or even gaiters will protect you from scratches.
  • It's Florida. Bring sun screen and bug spray as appropriate.
  • DO NOT FORGET TO BRING WATER.  Each competitor is expected to carry their own water or to be sufficiently hydrated before competing.  And let’s not kid ourselves about this hydrating thing: Plan on carrying your own water even though it’s an option, because if you become lost or disoriented, you may be spending more time out there than you planned. Stay hydrated. It may be warm and there will be no water on the courses. Carrying a little extra can also let you be a hero to someone else who didn't plan ahead as well as you did.
  • When registering a group, make sure you tell us the exact number of people who will be in that group.  FLO absolutely needs to know how many people are in each group and what the individual names are. Do not treat this as a choice; this is a safety issue. We hope never to use this information as part of a Search & Rescue effort, but if it is neglected and a search becomes necessary, you can appreciate how vital it may be.
  • The Safety Bearing for all courses will always be PRINTED ON YOUR MAP, and will generally lead to a road or fence that will guide you back to the finish.
  • If you become severely lost or injured, or lose your map and/or compass: If you are at a control, stay there until help arrives. Bail out to the Safety Bearing ONLY if you are CERTAIN you now know which way is the way back.
  • Carry a whistle and know how to use it: If in trouble, give 3 short blasts on the whistle, and repeat every few minutes until found. If you hear another whistle answer back (single blast), respond with your 3 blasts every time they signal so they can home in on you.
  • If you have a smartphone, carry it with you and use the Livelox app to record your hike (see info below).  With Livelox and cell signal, event staff can monitor your position and movements in real time, which is VERY handy if you should become lost.
  • An emergency contact number will also be printed on your map.  If you get in trouble or see someone else who is, call in for help.
  • At some of our venues, there may be horse trails with riders on horseback.  Running toward or past a horse can spook it, leading to highly unfortunate events (or at the very least, angry riders who will complain to park officials).  If you encounter horses, STOP RUNNING, yield right-of-way, and be courteous.  Play nice in the sandbox.
Florida Orienteering is a non-profit entity and our entire operation runs on the efforts of volunteers - people who love the sport, love the outdoors, and love sharing the experience of enjoying Florida's unique and beautiful natural spaces.  We are always on the lookout for new friends who share these interests and are willing to help - so if you have some time to share, please volunteer!

We always need people to help out at every event - even an hour or two really helps.  We will train any skills needed.  Possible duties include setup or take-down, registration, start table, finish table, Livelox monitoring, and control retrieval (starting at 3pm).

Contact the event coordinator listed above or email Blaik at 
blaik@floridaorienteering.org.   Let them know you can volunteer for a few hours either early (9:00 to noon) or late (noon-3:00), and whether there is anything in particular you’d like to do. 

SPECIAL NOTE - Volunteering for Control Retrieval at the end of the event is one of the best ways to learn the skill of navigation!  Adventure Racers and JROTC Cadets, especially the AR’s who like to run two or three courses, should consider Retrieval as an alternative training exercise.
SportIdent “e-punch” timing is now the required method of timing at all FLO events.  In addition to providing more information about your course, it also lightens the workload of accurate record-keeping, scoring, tracking, and results posting for FLO event staff and volunteers.  If you don’t own an e-punch finger stick, one can be easily rented for $3 at registration.  E-punch sticks can also be purchased for $30 (or $27 after rental) and used at orienteering events worldwide. For more information on e-punch timing see the intro video linked below:

 Training Video on “E-Punch” Timing & Finger Sticks:
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