What is Orienteering?The exciting sport ofnavigating through thewoods with map andcompass.Control locations are markedon your map and your goal isto find them in the woods.
History of OrienteeringBegan in the late 19th century in Sweden.The actual term "orientering" was first used in1886 and meant the crossing of unknown landwith the aid of a map and a compass.Grew from military training in land navigationinto a competitive sport for military officers, thenfor civilians.The first orienteering competition open to thepublic was held in Nor way in 1897.
Equipment Control Description SheetCompassFinger Stick Map
General InformationYou can orienteer solo, or insmall groups.You are competing for thefastest time.To ensure fairness bet weencompetitors the map is notprovided until the start, andstarts are staggered withcompetitors starting atintervals.
How to OrienteerUsing your map andcompass, you search forthe controls in the woods.They are marked byorange and whitetriangular kites.When you find a control,you “check-in” using yourfinger stick.
Holding Your MapIf you hold the map properly, it will show you where to go.Hold the map with your "weak" hand (left hand if you areright-handed, right hand if you are left-handed.)Always keep your map parallel to the ground (horizontal)and never up in front of your face (vertical).Always hold the map so that the features on the map are inthe same directions around you as they are on the ground.Keep your "weak" thumb on your present position on themap at all times. That way you always know where youare!
Map KeyBlue = waterYellow = open areaGreen = ground vegetationBlack = rock features or man-madeobjectsWhite = forest you can move througheasilyBrown = contour lines, which show theshape of the land
Understanding the Map Key White means forest you can move through easily. It does not mean open, empty land!
Understanding the Map Key Black can be either rock or cliff, or a man-made feature like a trail, road or building. Use common sense: rocks arent long and thin (trails are), and humans dont leave little dots of buildings out in the woods (but rocks are shown that way). Remember that if blue has a black line around it or if there is a patch of dark green, that means NO GO for ANYONE: its just too hard.
Contour LinesThose brown squiggly lines. Theyare called contour lines, and theyare actually the most importantthing on the map.Experienced orienteers rely greatlyon contour lines, because theyshow the actual shape of the land.To start with, learn that a closedcircle is the top of a hill, soeverything around it is downhill.
Contour LinesLines close together show a steephillside.Lines far apart show muchflatter land.Also, it is helpful to remember thelittle tabs on the cliff symbol onthe map always point downhill.
The CourseThe orienteering courseis marked in purple orred on a map.A triangle is used toindicate the start and adouble circle indicatesthe finish.Circles are used to showthe control points.
Control Description SheetCompetitors receive a "controldescription sheet" or "cluesheet" which gives a precisedescription of the feature andthe location of the kite.