Exploring nature in Lulea, Source: Lulea municipality

Hittaut invites Swedes to exercise and explore local nature

Hittaut invites Swedes to exercise and explore local nature

Luleå stood out as the municipality which attracted the most participants in the public health project last year

With the coming of spring, for 10 years now Hittaut (Swedish for ‘Find out’) has been urging people to leave their homes and embark on an outing, on foot or by bike, or with a dog in tow, exploring the secrets of local nature.

Of the 57 different locations across Sweden enrolled in the public health and wellness project, Luleå stood out as the municipality which attracted the most participants last year. Restarted on 30 May, activities under the project, involving about 80 000 people each year nationwide, will run until 15 October 2020.

Find checkpoints and win prizes

Hiiaut is a form of orienteering exercise/game that suits both beginners and experienced outdoor enthusiasts, adults and children alike. In Luleå, the non-profit project is run by local orienteering clubs with support from the municipality of Luleå, the local business community and the state funding to local nature conservation projects.

Anyone is free to join Hittaut by venturing out into nature, using a virtual or a physical map to find checkpoints by day or by night. You can download the app via Google Play or App Store or get the paper map at the Tourist Center in Kulturens hus, Snabbasteg, the adventure shop Hägglunds or the Visitor Center Gammelstad in Luleå. If you're using the digital map you can take guidance from the GPS marker, only make sure you have ticked the app’s ‘use location services’ box.

In Luleå we have close to 200 checkpoints and this year we hope that even more Luleå residents participate in this infection-safe activity that is also good for public health. New for this year are checkpoints in the roaming areas of Alvik and Hertsöträsk and Sunderbyn, says Martin Holmberg from  Bergnäset's AIK orientation club, quoted by the municipal website.  

Each checkpoint is marked with a metal post with a code on. If you register the codes on your account in the app or on the website of the Swedish Orienteering Federation, which owns and coordinates the project, you participate in a lottery. The more checkpoints you register, the greater the chance to win a prize.

Respect the environment

Checkpoints are placed in urban and residential areas, as well as in nearby forests. They are grouped in four different challenge levels: green (the easiest), blue (a little harder), red (quite challenging) and black (the hardest to navigate to and find). All checkpoints marked with a wheel are accessible for people with wheelchairs, strollers, rollerblades and bikes as they are placed along paved roads.

The Right of Public Access allows people to move freely in the Swedish countryside as long as they don't disturb animals or destroy habitats. However, you can't walk in private gardens, near a dwelling house, or land under cultivation, reminds the Swedish Orienteering Federation.



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