What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is an inclusive sport. It’s for everyone – whether you are an elite, a family group, or have maturity on your side.

So what is it? At a high level, it’s a competitive sport, it can be a very family-affordable enjoyable activity, and can be anything in-between.

It involves running (or walking) using a map and (usually) a compass to navigate your way round a set of controls as quickly as possible, using whatever route suits you. You choose your own route and pace, which usually depends on your fitness level, age, and navigational ability. Beginners use paths; more advanced runners run through challenging terrain.

It’s the ultimate mind and body workout. 

Below is an introductory video that covers the orienteering map, courses, controls, equipment and what to wear.

As well as organised events being run, we also have Permanent or Virtual orienteering courses to use to help learn and test out these skills.  

Read on to find out about:

  1. Types of course - and difficulty levels (including which are suitable for beginners)
  2. The map and how to read one
  3. Starting on your first permanent or virtual course

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Beginners read this first
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Types of course and difficulty levels