Our compasses aren’t surveyors’ tools – any bearing you measure on the map will likely be off by one or two degrees. As you follow the bearing, you are likely to unconsciously veer off another degree or two. Sometimes these errors will offset each other and you’ll end up exactly on target. But at other times they will compound each other. Over a 100 meter leg, a 3 degree error will put you 5 meters off course. You will likely still be able to see your target. But over a 500 meter leg, the same error would put you over 25 meters off course. You might very well not be able to see the control. So use your compass wisely as you apply the Five Key Skills: Use it to orient your map, and use it to aim yourself in a general direction, but when you use it to try to pick a precise line to a specific point, keep the distance as short as possible.
The opportunities to make mistakes while orienteering are virtually limitless, and a standard catalogue of errors looks uncomfortably like a graduate-student reading list. Instead of focusing on a frightening multitude of potential mistakes, let’s work on a few specific techniques to avoid them.
Orienteering offers many benefits, but its real attraction is that it is fun! It is a joy to walk and run through forests and fields. Armed with a compass and a map, competitors must use their navigational skills to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed.
As part of an effort to increase awareness of orienteering as a sport, and to incorporate the many educational and problem- based learning aspects of the sport into the curriculum, NEOOC teamed up with 4th graders from Kenston Intermediate School to put on an orienteering event.
Andreas Johansson, NEOOC Club Member, introduces the sport of orienteering in a shorter version of the original video.
Today’s event was a chance to work on skills that can help us improve as orienteers. Bob Boltz set a course targeted at two skills. Read more…
Practice your O-skills even when you’re not out in the woods! The Maze-O will challenge your brain, and sense of direction while finding the shortest, or the fastest routes through the mazes. Each turn slows you down, so try for a straighter line through, with the least amount of turns. And who knows, maybe you’ll see something like this in the near future…
Andreas Johansson, member at Northeast Ohio Orienteering Club (NEOOC), introduces orienteering with some of the basic stuff you might encounter at your first event.
This is a description of the standard orienteering course levels and the skills required to do each one — ordered from easiest to hardest. This list is to help you decide which orienteering course and/or which training session to select. Above all, remember that orienteering is intended to be fun. Choose the course which challenges your current skill level but is still easy enough to be fun for you.
Have you wondered what all those little clue symbols mean? Or need to brush up from last season? Here’s an easy to use control description 1-pager, used with permission from, and developed by Mike Minium of OCIN.