What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is an exciting outdoor adventure sport which involves walking or running whilst navigating around a course using a detailed map and sometimes a compass. The aim is to navigate in sequence between a set of control points and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It involves both physical and mental challenges and rewards competitors with a unique adventure on an ever changing playing field.  Orienteering can be undertaken competitively, socially, or for personal challenge.

Events can take place pretty well anywhere: remote forests, countryside, parks, schools and universities, and urban areas. Anywhere you can run or walk, you can orienteer, and the more unpredictable and surprising the terrain (landscape) the more interesting and challenging the event will be. Orienteering events always cater for a complete range of abilities and experience. Everyone can participate and get an appropriate challenge, adventure and sense of achievement.

If you still need convincing to try out orienteering, please read this!

An excellent short introduction to orienteering here.

A more comprehensive guide from British Orienteering here.

Some examples of orienteering maps:

Men’s Long distance at World Orienteering Championships, Sweden 2016 


Women’s Sprint at Junior World Orienteering Championships (under 20), Switzerland 2016