Better Orienteering is One Year Old

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this skills project.

Whatever stage your orienteering is at, there is something for you

So far over 16500 people have used the website from all around the world.

Better Orienteering keeps growing. More than 30 people from 9 countries have contributed material – guides, maps, videos. There are now over 40 instructions videos linked within Better Orienteering, going from the Irish Orienteering Association’s ultra clear guide to the basics -10 Elements of Orienteering, to intermediate and advanced skills with the SLOW Get Up to Speed series and videos from O-Ringen TV.

Over the last months much material has been added. If you haven’t looked at Better Orienteering for a while, there is new material in almost every section. Here are some of the highlights:

Some highlights

Goran Andersson kindly allowed some pages from his excellent book, Cool, Awesome, Educational – Orienteering in Simple English to be included. The new edition is now 88 pages and includes very useful explanations of orienteering and training exercises in full colour.

Skilling Up by Richard Sansbury has been linked in the Basic Navigation Routine section.

Know Your Sport Leaflets a series by David Jukes of BKO have also added to Basic Navigation Routine section, covering the basics of many aspects of our sport.

Orienteering Australia’s comprehensive map reading training exercises are linked too:

Two series of videos from O-Ringen TV have been built into the skills section, and also listed under the Videos Tab.

Thanks to Simon Eklov of O-Ringen TV, for permission to use them and encouragement to keep building Better Orienteering. Personal favourites are the videos with Janne Troeng demonstrating how to tackle some difficult legs in terrain near Uppsala. Here is one:

and this one with Mats Troeng talking about what has happened to maps since 1965:

This short overview can’t thank everyone and is far from comprehensive and many others have contributed including Kris Jones with a process model of orienteering which he kindly allowed to be adapted into the Plan, Picture, Direction model used across Better Orienteering.

If you are finding Better Orienteering helpful, please do ask your club/ association to link to Better Orienteering from their website.

Better Orienteering is and will remain free to use. An incredible amount of time and effort has gone into the content linked from it and built into by many authors, all giving their time to help others get into the sport they love. They are mentioned across the website.

Thank you for your interest in getting better at orienteering and helping others get into our sport and get better too.

Duncan Bayliss, May 2020

Better Orienteering Copyright Duncan Bayliss, 2020

Please see the Fair Use Policy and mention Better Orienteering in any mentions of material you find here. Copyright for linked material remains with the authors and creators of that material and you should seek permission from them for other uses.

Better Orienteering a guide to orienteering skills

This short article for British Orienteering Newsletter includes some suggestions for what you can try to keep your skills up to speed.

The article: Armchair Orienteering

Or head straight across to the Games section or the Learning Videos

Other Lock down activities – Contribute on skills? – Do more analysis?

Chris Smithard has compiled a list of orienteering things to do under lockdown that is worth checking out at On The Red Line

Lockdown competitions are on:

Contribute – While we are under lock down, maybe you can contribute to Better Orienteering? Over 30 orienteers from 9 countries have shared skills material here to help others get better at orienteering and the resource is much better than it could be otherwise.

Do more analysis – Maybe now is a good time to look back through some races and do some more systematic analysis. What are your persistent weaknesses and how might you improve on them?

  • Orienteering clubs, please do link to Better Orienteering from your club websites and mention it in club communications.
  • If there is anything you would like added, please do make contact, so that Better Orienteering can be as useful as possible.

Finally, do consider contributing.    See Contact and Contribute

I am grateful to the many experienced orienteers who have already made contributions to Better Orienteering.

Better Orienteering is a collaborative project to help newcomers start orienteering and to help existing orienteers improve. It aims to help people start and get better at orienteering, world-wide

Fair use policy

Please do link to this site from Orienteering Club websites so beginners and improvers can easily access material on skills. Do give your feedback on how helpful you have found the material here so it can keep improving. 

You are welcome to copy and use the Free Downloads as is without modification.  If you refer to specific downloads or content from Better Orienteering, on a club website, you must include a web link back to Better Orienteering so that the material can be viewed in its original context. You should attribute Duncan Bayliss as the author and Better Orienteering and its web address as the source.  e.g  Downloaded from Better Orienteering by Duncan Bayliss,

Please contact me Duncan Bayliss for permission for any other use of material on Better Orienteering (Use the Contact page).


Permission to re-use material included in Better Orienteering contributed by other persons such as photographs and map extracts, should be sought from the original authors/ producers.


Duncan Bayliss, 2019

Copyright notice and acknowledgements

This website is copyright of Duncan Bayliss All text written by Duncan Bayliss, copyright Duncan Bayliss, unless attributed to other authors. All rights reserved.

I have sought to state the sources for all linked material such as videos. Thank you to Sarah Brown (SLOW) for permission to include the Get Up To Speed videos and the Irish Orienteering Association for permission to include the 10 Elements of Orienteering videos. Copyright for all linked material rests with the original authors and producers, it is only linked to on this website. I am grateful for permission to include copyrighted material on this website including maps, map extracts, control symbols, map features and images. It has been immensely helpful that many orienteers have generously shared ideas and allowed material to be included here so that others can enjoy our sport.

Particular thanks must go to Martin Bagness (Warrior OC) (Maps in the Skills Tool Kit), Rod Postlethwaite (Wrekin), Peter Jones (Wrekin) (Map extracts in the Better Orienteering header and skills summaries) and Peter Bayliss (Wrekin) for permission to use map extracts.

Thank you!


The photographs in Better Orienteering are mainly by kind permission of Steve Rush (BOK) Copyright for photographs included on BetterOrienteering remains with the photographer as attributed.

For more of Steve’s orienteering photographs see:

The photographs on Better Orienteering are mainly of people orienteering in the UK and are intended to give a good overview of orienteering in practice. If for any reason you would like a photograph in which you feature not to be included on Better Orienteering, then let me know via the Contact section and it will of course be removed.

The section Contact and Contribute gives a fuller list of acknowledgements.

New posts to Better Orienteering

New Bolg posts to Better Orienteering appear at the top of this page.

As new content has been added, it has been listed below:

20 June 2019 New verion of Skills Tool Kit published under the Intermediate section

CompassSport article about Better Orienteering added to the front page. July 2019

Sept. 2019 New video What is an orienteering map? By Andy Paterson of Clydeside Orienteers added to Beginner page.

Sept. 2019 New video, 10 elements of orienteering, by the Irish Orienteering Association, on the Beginner page

October 2019 Teaching section added aimed at pointing teachers to resources to use alongside Better Orienteering in teaching orienteering.

October 2019 Skogsport article added to front page.

November 2019 Article by Kris Jones, UK Elite, on orienteering navigation and a Process Model added to Further Articles section.

November 2019 Better Orienteering Navigation Model explained graphically and incorporated across the website.

December 2019 Better Orienteering Summary added. A web-linked pdf to use alongside the website. Sections of the summary link back to the website.

January 2020 Orienteering Jargon. Basic Glossary of terms/ jargon and links to online glossaries of orienteering jargon added as Tab under Suggested Reading and Resources.

January 2020 Common errors added to Race Analysis, structured by level of skill under heading Optimising your performance – a Catalogue of errors

January 2020 Cool, Awesome, Educational – Orienteering in Simple English new edition of Goran Andersson’s excellent guide linked to. Sample pages included with permission of Goran. This guide is now 88 pages and includes very useful training exercises in full colour.

January 2020 Orienteering Fitness, some suggestions added as a Tab under Suggested Reading and Resources.

February 2020 Skilling Up links by Richard Sansbury added to Basic Navigation Routine section

February 2020 Know Your Sport Leaflets by David Jukes of BKO added to Basic Navigation Routine section

April 2020 2 series of O-Ringen TV videos linked to. Thank you for permission and encouragement from Simon Eklov of O-Ringen TV.