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Well, it depends upon who you ask. The broad definition is that it is a combination of two or more endurance disciplines, including {tip Navigation::This is based upon Orienteering, and only uses map and compass for navigation.}navigation{/tip}, cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing/rope skills.

This definition is a good one for expedition length events, which span 5-10 days and where they often try to fit in multiple disciplines (some novel). Of course, that length of event is not terribly accessible for many of us. We tend to go with a bit more accessible definition of a race that includes two or more disciplines, navigation, and is as much in the wilderness as possible.

For a short 2-3 hour weeknight race, this means sticking with trekking and biking and trying to make as much use of local parks and trails as we can find. For a longer race, we can hold the race out in the woods and try to get a water discipline or possibly other disciplines in the mix.

Wikipedia has an entry for Adventure Racing, if you'd like to read more.