Here is a short article by Duncan Bayliss, on orienteering activities you can get up to online to practice your skills.

Armchair orienteering

Below is a list of orienteering games that let you practice different aspects of orienteering skills. Some allow competitions.

Chris Smithard Lock Down orienteering

Chris Smithard has produced a great list of things to do online during the Coronavirus lock down, including various games and simulators and competitions. There is Street O in various countries, Scottish Orienteering’s daily puzzle, catching Features competitions and more. The list is on On The Red Line. His Lock down orienteering competition is quite a challenge.

Route Choice Game – free

Route Choice Game allows you to test how quickly and accurately you can see the shortest and fastest route in urban orienteering. You choose the shortest option for each leg and get scored on how often you get it right and how fast you make the choice.

The website is in Finnish. Just add Google translate Plug-in to your browser and automatically translate the pages. (Google how to do it!). The game is simple to follow anyway.

Handy demo video

Droobers online quizzes – free

A series of quizzes by Alan Segur of Octavian Droobers orienteering club. There are a range of exercises to make sure you know some basics inside out, covering contours, orientating the map, map symbols, map memory and control descriptions.

Index of online quizzes

Here are a couple of examples of the types of question you face in the training. It is surprising how tricky these can be even for experienced orienteers.

Maprunner Control Description Quiz – free

Maprunner Control Description Quiz

This is another way to practice your understanding of control descriptions until you are perfect at them.

Ski-O Map Memory – free

Ski-O Map Memory

When you do ski or mountain bike orienteering map memory becomes more important. A strangely satisfying game from Catching Features.

Here is an example of a leg to be navigated by memory.

Catching Features – free demo then purchase

Catching features has been available for quite a long time. Lots of players. Lots of competitions, on lots of maps.

Free demo of Catching Features

Baggy Maps Orienteering map jigsaw puzzles – free

Move pieces around on screen to make the map.

Baggy Maps

The Forest – free

The forest

The Forest, lets you explore a virtual map with matching 3D visualisation to develop your ability to visualise terrain from the map.

Probably the hardest but most important skill in orienteering is visualisation.  The map needs to become a 3D reality in your mind.  The Forest, developed by Graham Relf, a UK orienteer, is a way to practice this and develop your ability to see the shape of the land from the map in front of you.  The Forest is free and does not require installation, it runs in your browser (PC, Android, Linux).  There are novice and expert versions of courses and you can plan and send a course to friends.  See the User guide.  There is also a treasure hunt available when in Explorer mode.

For instructions see:

Trail O -Temp O Simulator – free

Temp O Simulator

If you are unclear on what Trail O and Temp O entail have a look at this helpful explanation by David Jukes first. They require a lot of skill and you won’t have instant success – a proper map reading challenge!

Virtual O – game to purchase

Very realistic computer visualisations of the terrain from the maps.

Running Wild – free

Choose a course and draw your route. Compare to the best route to see how well you chose route choices under time pressure.

Map Memory Game

Map Memory Game

Pelmanism for orienteers. Match the pairs of map extracts.

WCO2021 Map Game

WCO2021 Map Game

Visit the WOC 2021 website, print out the map and match the pairs