Kenneth E. Harker

Part of the Bastrop State Park orienteering map.

In the summer of 2000, my fiancée and I were hiking the trails in Bastrop State Park, when she noticed what we discovered was a permanent orienteering marker at the edge of a field. She remembered orienteering as a Girl Scout, and I thought it sounded like fun, so we signed up for an "Introduction to Orienteering" course offered by the University of Texas Informal Classes, and then participated in an two-day orienteering meet held at Bastrop State Park that October.

Today, my wife and I are both members of the U.S. Orienteering Federation (USOF) and the Houston Orienteering Club (HOC). We have competed in traditional on-foot orienteering meets as well as radio orienteering meets in Texas, Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and New Zealand. We try to attend at least four or five meets a year. My personal best result to date is winning first place in the Orange M19-38 category at the 2003 Stubblefield two-day meet held by the HOC in the Sam Houston National Forest.

One of my particular interests in the world of map-and-compass sports is radio orienteering. In radio orienteering, also known as Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), competitors use a hand-held radio receiver and antenna, an orienteering map, and a compass to locate Amateur Radio transmitters hidden in the woods. I have competed in the 2002 USA ARDF Championship, the 2003 IARU Region II ARDF Championship, and the 2005 IARU Region II ARDF Championship, finishing in fifth place in the M21 category all three years. I am currently working on building a set of ARDF transmitter equipment so we can host our own radio orienteering meets in central Texas.

Last Updated 16 April 2017