The sources listed below have various resources to help improve your orienteering. Resources and websites linked to elsewhere on Better Orienteering are listed in the first section, then are many additional sites and resources from around the world.
Websites and resources linked to in Better Orienteering
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
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
A treasure trove of maps from around the world, race analysis, orienteering news
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.
See for 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. Aimed at Advanced + level.
Techniques referred to in this guide are often illustrated here, 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
Additional websites and resources
Orienteering USA has some articles and resources on skills and techniques
Orienteering USA has an extensive range of videos on its YouTube channel.
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
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.