Orienteering Tips & Hints

Orienteering Tips & Hints

Orienteering-essexOrienteering is an outdoor adventure sport for all ages no matter how young, old or fit you are and involves walking or running, all at your own pace of course, while using map reading skills to navigate your way around a course. The aim of the sport is to successfully navigate around the course in the quickest time possible.

Taking place almost anywhere you can imagine, from the concrete jungle to the countryside and anywhere in between. Orienteering can be an awesome sport for many people, weather you just love to be outside or even if you’re just bored of the current TV schedule.

Beginners Tips

To help the newcomers along, here’s few TC top tips to get you on your way (Was that a pun?).

  1. Folding the map – To help you navigate, fold your map so that you can easily see where you are.
  2. Orientation – Much like a satnav, always keep your map facing the correct way. For example, the features on the ground in front of you are also in front of you on the map, makes sense right? You can also use a compass to orientate your map, making sure that the north lines on the map are pointing the same way as the compass needle. Remember each time you change direction to rotate the map to the direction you are facing. Top tip!
  3. Thumb the map – Yep, that sounds odd, but it helps to keep track of where you are at all times on your map, loose where you are and this could cost you time! Remember to mark your position on the map using your thumb or mark a check point or feature where you can check your position.
  4. Checking the control card – When you have found a control, you should check the code matches your description sheet. It is also wise to check the control is located at the correct feature on your map, that way you will know you have reached the correct control.
  5. Have fun! – Last but not least, enjoy yourself and have fun!

What is a control?

orienteering_controlHopefully our beginners tips have set you on your way to an amazing day (Yeah… that was another pun). But what exactly is a control? Controls are provided along with a control description sheet which tells you exactly what you’re looking for. When you locate the control, you will see a code of letters or numbers which should match those on your control description sheet. If you have found the correct control and the code matches your description sheet, you’re in the right place!


You don’t need much equipment to start orienteering. Simply bring yourself, along with some comfortable and suitable clothing. Remember, the weather may not be great and if you are caught in a rain shower without any waterproofs it could ruin your day. It is advisable to also wear full leg cover. Other equipment should be available to buy or hire.

  1. Electronic cards – A gadget used to confirm you have visited all controls in the correct order.
  2. Compass – As you progress, you will need a compass.



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