I wrote this article about Design in Orienteering a couple of years ago. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope it will help you think through the challenges involved in becoming better at orienteering.
The challenge of learning to orienteer
At the simplest level orienteering is about enjoying running around a course with a map, but to master it there are many concepts and skills to develop. It is worth bearing in mind when we try to explain orienteering to people, that we are asking them to learn and apply, to some degree at least, the following:
- learn two visual languages – maps symbols and control descriptions
- develop spatial thinking to interpret maps
- develop the ability to visualise that information in 3-D
- build a personal terrain library to give the building blocks for visualising better
- learn strategies to analyse that information and apply it to moving through the terrain
- learn to relate that 3-D information to their perspective as they move though the terrain
and as they move through their visualisation of the terrain and as they use it to relocate from mistakes
- build a high level of overall fitness.
No wonder it takes a long time to get good at orienteering