Three orienteering courses in Deeside forests have recently been upgraded to create the first mobile phone orienteering facilities in Scotland.
To celebrate their launch, Mar Orienteering Club is setting a special prize-winning competition for the first people to meet the mobile phone challenge.
The permanent orienteering courses at Bell Wood (Aboyne), Dess Woods (Dess) and Creag Choinnich (Braemar) have been equipped to enable their use with 3-in-1 mobile phone technology.
They have all been setup by Mar Orienteering Club and are now linked in to an Estonian based mobile phone orienteering tool, MOBO.
Using a smartphone app, maps of the courses can be downloaded and used for navigation with an in-built compass.
QR codes, installed at check points on the courses, allow users to register that they have visited the location by swiping the QR code.
The courses are targeted at recreational use by the general public, youth groups and visitors, are free to use and can be accessed at any time.
New information sign boards are being installed at each location.
All of the courses can also be used with traditional paper maps and are equipped with pin punches at each control.
A fourth course at Knockburn Loch has also recently been revamped and is available for use with paper maps.
The mobile phone tool and app can be accessed from www.mobo.osport.ee or maps can be downloaded from the Mar Orienteering Club website: www. marocscotland.org.uk/ permanent-courses.
To celebrate the launch of the MOBO courses a special competition will be run, with prizes donated by Maroc and HillTrek Aboyne.
The first 4 users to register visits to at least 60 of the MOBO control points (excluding the start points) in the 3 forests can claim the following prizes by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org – 1st prize £25 voucher for Compass Point on-line store; 2nd prize £15 voucher for Compass Point on-line store; 3rd and 4th prize £10 vouchers for HillTrek Aboyne.