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.

Contributors are acknowledge in the text of the website where their contributions appear.

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.

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