The sources listed below have various resources to help improve your orienteering. Resources and websites linked to on Better Orienteering are listed first, then there are many additional sites and resources from around the world. There is material linked to here for people of many different levels of ability from Beginner to Elite.
Websites and resources linked to in Better Orienteering including instruction videos
International Orienteering Federation
This includes 3 short very basic videos for beginners:
Orienteering Part 1- The Map
Orienteering Part 2- Planning your route
Orienteering Part 3 – Finding your way
View the videos and other content at:
IOF leaflet Go Orienteering
It has a newcomers guide on the very basics:
This includes a link to IOF control descriptions
British Orienteering also have resources aimed at supporting experienced and Elite competitors improve their performance
The Coaching and Training advice by Goran Andersson is aimed at elite competitors, covering a range of factors that affect performance including nutrition, psychology and planning training.
British Orienteering STEP system
Swedish Orienteering Association
Sweden can reasonably be called the homeof orienteering and the Swedish Orienteering Association has many great resources available. See for example: The Swedish Orienteering Association Development Plan that has information on skills development from beginner to elite.
Swedish and English are close enough as languages that Google Translate makes a reasonable translation of the Swedish to English, so the materials are still worth exploring if you are an English speaker.
SLOW (South London Orienteers)
‘Get Up To Speed’ videos
See SLOW’s YouTube channel for an introduction:
These videos are a very helpful way to gain a quick insight into various techniques.
| The Get Up To Speed playlist on YouTube includes:|
Think Fast, Run Hard, Go Orienteering
Setting the Map
Using the Compass
Large Contour Features
Irish Orienteering Association
The Irish Orienteering Association has produced a series of videos for beginners, linked together in this film.
Other videos from the Irish Orienteering Association can be found at the Irish Orienteering Association homepage, click on the link below
|The 10 Elements of Orienteering playlist includes: |
Intro – What is orienteering?
Reading the map part 1
Orientating the map
Reading the map part 2
Route choice 2
Start ‘n Finish
World of O website
An amazing resource.
A treasure trove of maps from around the world, race analysis, orienteering news
Route to Christmas Day 3 2019
The Route to Christmas series is a great way to see analysis of interesting legs from races throughout the year plus the GPS traces of top competitors and discussion of what was the best route. A way to learn from the World’s best.
Here is another example: http://news.worldofo.com/2018/12/24/route-to-christmas-day-24-2018/
You can search within the page for previous year’s routes.
Lots of videos and guides on techniques and training options. Many of the exercises are aimed at Advanced level and beyond, but there are great ideas here for orienteers at many levels.
Techniques referred to in this Better Orienteering are often illustrated on O-Training.net, however the level and complexity can be overwhelming for some people at first.
The ‘Orienteering Exercises’ on O-Training include:
Inside the control circle
|Map understanding |
Over speed orienteering
O trainer – Otraineur
A French website with a huge number of interesting training exercises to practice orienteering skills. Thanks to Google translate even we English speakers can benefit from the great number of good ideas here. Many of the exercises will take a bit of thinking through and some time to set up.
The exercises are well thought out and well explained. A very useful resource for coaches. Here is an example:
Orienteering USA has articles and resources on skills and techniques that are worth exploring, from newcomer to more expert skills, as well as links to some skills downloads.
Orienteering USA has an extensive range of videos on its YouTube channel.
Orienteering You Tube playlist
Orienteering USA Orienteering learning Videos explaining a series of skills are here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdO4WdPx83QrtdSkXZv1TYq5lB-OUJhaP
Orienteering Australia has some helpful tips on orienteering skills and links to presentations and videos on skills
Getting started videos – 10 videos for beginners
|Orienteering Australia Videos Playlist:|
How to Get Ready: Registration
How to Get Ready For Your Start
How to Start Your Course
How to Read The Map
How to Use The Compass
How to Find Your Checkpoint
How to Speed Up Through Checkpoints
Things You Need To Know
Orienteering Australia videos on Mountain Bike Orienteering, highlighting the difference between foot O and MTBO
Orienteering ACT (Australia)
It includes a clear set of FAQs for beginners:
|What is orienteering?|
How does it work?
How much do I need to know?
What is an SI stick?
Do I have to run?
How long will the course take me?
What course should I choose?
What should I wear?
What equipment do I need?
|Can I do it in a group or team?|
Can I bring my dog?
Can I follow other people?
What do I do if I get lost?
What do I do if get injured on the course?
What happens at course closure time?
What if I don’t finish my course?
How much does it cost?
Do I need to join a club or Orienteering ACT?
Orienteering ACT covers a range of Basic Orienteering Skills
Orienteering ACT also has some excellent resources at Intermediate level for self study to help you understand what a range of techniques mean in practice – called Coaching Tips. They are professionally produced and very well illustrated. Each item has a download with exercises or tasks to attempt. Click on the Coaching Tips link below:
|Coaching tips on Map Reading – Orienteering ACT:|
1 About the coaching tips
2 Contents page
3 How to use the guide
5 Orientating the map
6 Man-made linear features
7 Introduction to vegetation
8 Naming contour features
9 Water features
10 Rock on! Identifying rock features
12 More Man-made features
13 Variations on vegetation
14 Contours #2
15 On course. Following the course on the map
Richard Sansbury of Quantock Orienteers has put together a useful table of links to articles on skills organised by skill level Skilling Up
Scottish Orienteering Association
SOA and Glenmore Lodge produced a series of orienteering videos. Follow the You Tube list for the other videos.
A basic introduction to orienteering video from NEOOC
For another take on what doing an orienteering course entails, you can try this video from the US. Apart from minor differences in US terminology such as path being called a trail, the experience of orienteering is the same in the US and the UK. (17 minutes).
Orienteering Canada Skills
A rich resource on orienteering skills development. They describe it as first of all aimed at coaches, but it is publicly available. The skills development framework is structured by age groups to offer appropriate skills and physical training and development for different age groups of children.
The Skills Matrix is very thorough.
Alberta Orienteering Association
The introduction pages include ideas on how to make simple maps for learning orienteering and links to other reources.
They also have an extensive introduction to orienteering powerpoint presentation (31 MB)
Swedish Orienteering Association
The Swedish Orienteering Association has published some of its excellent material in English as well as Swedish.
They have a webpage introducing orienteering:
The booklet Orienteering for Beginners is very helpful.
see https://www.orientering.se/sa-funkar-orientering/ (In English, This is how orienteering works) scroll to the bottom of the page for links to publications under Learn More.
Orienteering New Zealand
A good range of helpful resources.
You can buy Jean Cory Wright’s new colour edition of The little book of orienteering techniques
Finnish Orienteering Association
Many UK races and maps are put on here with courses and GPS traces
Click on a club on the left hand column to view maps they have uploaded. On any given course, some competitors will have uploaded their gps traces so that you can see the actual routes taken by runners. Its a great way to analyse route choices.
An interesting website/ blog on orienteering in the UK.
It includes IOF control descriptions.
They are also on IOF https://orienteering.sport/
and British Orienteering https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/home
The UK Orienteering magazine. It has carried many excellent articles on techniques and training over many years.
Orienteers training logs, blogs, articles and much more.
On the Red Line
This website is dedicated to the British Orienteering Squad, but also has useful articles, links to blogs and more.
British Mountain Bike Orienteering
Mountain Bike Orienteering in the UK is governed by a separate body from British Orienteering. Details of races and formats of competition are on their website.
Quick route allows you to show GPS traces on O maps. You can also render the maps in 3D with Google Earth integration.
Lars Palmqvist Digital Orienteering Map Archive
This is literally every map Lars has run on since 1961. A fascinating collection.
Create virtual orienteering courses to be completed with a map and smartphone. This takes quite a bit of know how to set up, but is linked here for those interested.
IOF list of orienteering software
The Run in
Podcasts of in depth interviews with orienteers (mainly UK). Listen on Stitcher.