Amphibious Orienteering

GERETSRIED, GERMANY — If you set out on a journey to travel the majestic coastline of Sardinia, Italy, or Kho Kho Lipe & Tao, Thailand, what kind of pack would you take? What if that journey required you to travel that coastline from the water without a canoe, kayak, or even scuba tanks of any kind? Crazy, right? Well, welcome to the sport of Seatrekking, where minimalist explorers connect trekking with coastal swimming with free diving with orienteering — take that, XTERRA! Seatrekking is a new endurance sport that attempts to capture the interest of explorers who want to take excursions into places that are still considered natural and unaffected; both above and below the water. Endurance racers have known this was coming for some time, and if you’re a Navy SEAL, you’ve been doing this for a living for several years. But regardless of how this extreme sport has blended the enthusiasm of traveling by land and sea, Seatrekking has become a buzz word for those looking for the next big thing in endurance sports.

Thankfully, Aetem — an outdoor products vendor from Germany — has created a line of waterproof packs designed especially for Seatrekking. Aetem has three product specifically rated for coastal travel, from the small Aetem Day Pack, to the more hardcore Aetem Seashell or Big Pack, this company has banked on the chance that you will not only consider seatrekking as a possible option for your next vacation, but has even begun compiling tour maps for seatrekking destinations like Cres, Croatia, and Elba, Italy. For the full details on Aetem’s product line, checkout Chris Weiss’ fantastic article on Seatrekking on, or try out Aetem’s website at or

We at Phibious see seatrekking — or what some have dubbed “Amphibious Orienteering” or “Phib-O” — has an endurance sport that has yet to earn a place in competitive orienteering. We believes that as a sport with truly amphibious roots, seatrekking takes off-road triathlon and adventure racing to an extreme level could be the next up-and-coming competitive sport that could soon be taking America’s extreme athletes by storm! But without a competitive structure to support its expansion, it will certainly have a tough time gaining momentum. This is why Phibious hopes to change all that by combining their efforts with Canoe and Kayak Orienteering with Seatrekking to expand advocacy for both sports throughout the country. Contact us today if you would like to know more about the Phibious movement or how you can bring Seatrekking competitions to your area!

CKO is Canoe/Kayak Racing WITH Orienteering

CKO is canoe/kayak racing WITH orienteering – tell your friends!

Nuance Matters when Attracting Paddlers
It has been suggested that canoe/kayak orienteering (CKO) is the same as Foot Orienteering with the exception of an added boat for travel. We at Phibious would like to challenge that notion. We think of CK Orienteering more like a BOAT race that just so happens to have Orienteering!!

It is a subtle yet important difference that will drastically impact your race turnout. Canoe/Kayak Orienteering and Foot Orienteering seem to “at-a-glance” be similar. However, their cultures are very different. Just because you have the same essential mechanics does not make you alike. Are Baseball and Cricket alike? They both have bats, balls, and bases. Yet to ignore this difference is to alienate your potential participant and cause them to go elsewhere. That is no way to build a sport! And it is a certain recipe for poor race day turnout. Consider the following for a moment:

Continue reading CKO is Canoe/Kayak Racing WITH Orienteering

Winning USCA Canoe/Kayak Orienteering

CKO is a timed race in which one- or two-person boats start at staggered intervals.

Winning Canoe Orienteering
A Seven-Time US Canoe-Orienteering Champion Reveals All
By Aims Coney, USCA Canoe-Orienteering Chair, 2008

What’s the first secret of successful canoe-o?  It’s pick your partner wisely.  Many thanks to Bob Allen, Barry Fifield, Ernst Linder, Andy Hall, and especially J-J Cote’ who endured so much, taught me so much, and ensured the success for which I later got credit.

Since 2001, championship-level canoe-o has gone through a miraculous evolution.  Back then J-J and I won the USCA Nationals by being the only team to bother portaging and dominated local meets by merely showing up with a racing canoe.  Nowadays the racers who enter the Nationals make far better decisions and local meets attract plenty of fast canoes.  It’s getting more competitive all the time, too.  At the 2001 Nationals there was a 2-1/2 hour margin between first and last places but last year the total gap, first to last, was only 38 minutes.  At local meets the long course often used to go unused, but now is often the most popular.

Continue reading Winning USCA Canoe/Kayak Orienteering

CVOC White Bank Park CKO (Aug 13, 2011)

CKO orienteer finding a control by kayak. Some controls during this race where submerged.

The Central Virginia Orienteering Club (CVOC) held a Canoe/Kayak Orienteering (CKO) event at White Bank Park in Colonial Heights, VA on August 13, 2011. The CVOC reported an attendance of over 40 water-bound orienteers that headed out to find controls set throughout a beautiful wetlands area off of Swift Creek.  There were 20 control flags to find of differing difficulties, including some that were submerged.

Date: Sat Aug 13, 2011
Venue: Swift Creek, White Bank Park
Location: Colonial Heights, VA
Event Director:
Tim Gilbert
Course Setter:
Tim Gilbert
Event Website:
CVOC White Bank Park CKO

USCA CKO National Championships (Aug 10, 2011)

USCA is currently the only association supporting CKO with an annual National Championship

The United States Canoe Association (USCA) held the Canoe/Kayak Orienteering Championships at their National Competition at Eh Henning County Park in Newaygo, MI on August 10, 2011. This is considered to be the CKO National Championship for participation in World CKO Championship Events. Canoe & Kayak Orienteering (CKO) consists of a race – on land and water – to get to as many (preferably all) points on a map by visiting as many controls as possible in the time allowed.

Date: Wed, Aug 10, 2011
Venue: Eh Henning County Park
Location: Newaygo, MI
Event Director:
Ben Josefik
Race Host:
Powers Outdoors
Event Website:
USCA Nationals: Canoe/Kayak Orienteering Championships
Event Results: USCA CKO National Championship Results