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Now and then we focus on the incredible variety of subjects that can be found on postage stamps, some being very unusual. And today I came across some such stamps.
Those in question feature a sport whose participants must not only have a considerable amount of stamina but also excellent navigational skills.
The sport, orienteering, began in Sweden in the late 19th Century and involved the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass. In Sweden, orienteering grew from essential training for military personnel in land navigation into a competitive sport for military officers, then for civilians. The first orienteering competition open to the public was held in Norway in 1897.

The stamps above are from Sweden, 1968, and depict a race competitor carrying a map and compass.
Below, from 1970, two from what was then the communist East Germany celebrating the 1970 World Masters Orienteering competition.

Four disciplines of the sport are now sanctioned by an official governing body, the International Orienteering Federation. They are Foot Orienteering, Mountain Bike Orienteering, Ski Orienteering and Trail Orienteering.
Bulgaria issued the following stamp in 1977, the subject being ski orienteering.

Aland, a nice gutter pair from 1986.
Ski orienteering also features on this 1984 Italian Aerogramme.
And these from Aland are from 1974.
Finland produced this example in 1979, showing typical terrain racers might encounter.

Two from Estonia. The first from 2017, the second features the World Orienteering Championships of 2016.

Finally the 2008 European Championships issue from Latvia.

As I write, all of the above are in stock at postbeeld.com


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