Quick start

Basic Navigation Routine – Intermediate + Skills Tool Kit – Advanced Strategies and Beyond Advanced

Start here for your quickest route into Better Orienteering

Photo: Steve Rush BOK

Better Orienteering aims to help you get better at orienteering.

It introduces orienteering skills in a structured way and includes videos and free downloads. You can work through the self-help resources in whatever way you find most helpful.

There are suggestions below for where to start depending on your prior experience or needs. There is also a free summary to download (see below).

Better Orienteering works through a set of ideas that will help you join up your skills effectively and use them reliably when orienteering. That is why this website is not just a list of skills.

Where to start – a few quick steps

In the Beginner, Basic and Intermediate skills sections, you will find:

  • Short graphical summaries of key skills
  • Videos showing how to use those skills in practice
  • More explanation of those skills if you need it
  • Explanation of the navigation model – Plan, Picture, Direction – that works for the skill level
  • Links to where you can find out more about orienteering navigation aimed at that skill level – more videos and free downloads

Now find the right skills section for your experience:


If you are a newcomer who has not been orienteering before, or you have only been a few times, have a look at the Beginner section.

Quick link to Beginner’s tips – They include explanation of orienteering map symbols scaled for easy reading on a smartphone


If you have been orienteering a while and want to build a solid basis for good navigation then look at the Basic Navigation Routine section under the Skill Levels menu. Also have a look at the Skills Tool Kit under the Intermediate section

Quick link to Basic Navigation Routine summary – scaled for easy reading on a smartphone

Quick link to the Skills Tool Kit


If you are a more experienced orienteer, try looking through the Intermediate section first then, the Advanced and Beyond Advanced sections as they seem relevant. Even if you have been orienteering a long time, with over 30 contributors to Better Orienteering, you may well find some ideas or insights that are still helpful to you. It is also great if more experienced orienteers are familiar with the material on Better Orienteering and can point others to it to help them get into the sport and improve.

If you are unsure of where to start, or you have hit a point where your orienteering is not improving then after browsing Better Orienteering you could try the self-diagnostic questions under: How well am I orienteering? It will help you identify the building blocks you need to get in place to improve.


If you are a teacher, the Teaching section will help you start finding resources. See also Books and Resources. There are videos and downloads throughout Better Orienteering that may help you, once you are clear on the level of material you are needing.


If you are in the military, this short guide to using the Better Orienteering website and resources may help.

The “Orienteering for the military” guide is not official, it was written in consultation with several ex-military personnel who are good orienteers, to help you find the material on this website that will be most useful to you. It discusses the development of your orienteering navigation in 3 broad stages and suggests how you might start to link orienteering navigation skills to other navigation challenges that are outside the remit of this website.

Better Orienteering Skills Matrix

The skills matrix summarizes the skills explained by skill level and links to key resources

Learning Videos

If you prefer to learn by just watching videos, I suggest you download the Better Orienteering Summary below then head to the Learning Videos Playlist and binge away! Hopefully you will then come back to the structured sections on skills.

Learning Videos Playlist

Better Orienteering Summary

You can download and use this summary as you work through Better Orienteering. It is a web-linked pdf so that when you click on headings or diagrams within it, it automatically opens the relevant web page on Better Orienteering. Feel free to share this summary widely as a way for people to access what is on this website.

Download this summary to use as you work through Better Orienteering