Top Tips for Beginners

  • Orientate your map - This is especially important at the beginning and it is worth taking a bit of time to identify the location of the start and relate the features around you to what is shown on the map. Then, checking the features in front of you, make sure that you set off in the right direction You can also orientate your map using a compass by making sure that the north lines on the map point the same way as the north or red end of the compass needle.
  • Think about the scale: At first, you may find you arrive at path junctions, etc. sooner than you were expecting to. It can help to spot a feature nearby and then look at how far away it is on your map
  • Remember the map colours: open land is mapped in shades of yellow and forest areas are white through to green.
  • Fold your map: this is so you can easily see the part of the map where you are. Many orienteers also learn to keep their thumb on the map to mark their position.
  • Check your control descriptions - Once you have found a control you always need to check that the code on your control description sheet matches the code on the control.
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself.

    If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to contact British Orienteering and we will be happy to help. Email: or Tel: 01629 583037.