What is Orienteering ?

Baseplate Compass

Baseplate Compass

Last Updated: Fri 15 Feb 2019

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.

Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks, school playgrounds and even city centres. The most challenging orienteering takes place in areas, which have demanding terrain and few paths.

To start orienteering all you need is a sense of adventure and a pair of trainers. It's a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Orienteering - "An adventure sport for all!"

Orienteering - What is it all about ?

Or view on YouTube

If you've watched the video, and want to find out more read Oli Johnson's short beginners guide to orienteering.

Or read "A Newcomers Guide to Orienteering" on the British Orienteering website.

An A-Z of "Orienteering Jargon" is also on the British Orienteering website.

PFO and SELOC members went to Moss Bank Park in Bolton in October 2009 to help film a short piece about about the sport of orienteering for Channel M (cable TV). The short film explains the sport of orienteering and what happens at an event.

Or view on YouTube

Have a look and see if you can spot any familiar faces!

Jim Mitchell (PFO) has put together an A-Z of orienteering venues, click here to read it.

Confused by all those symbols on the control descriptions? You can download the specification sheet for control descriptions of them all in a pdf file from the IOF website, or visit the Maprunner website for an alternative presentation of them.