DIY Orienteering

Covid-19 Notes

Please note, the Government Guidelines must be obeyed at all times, in particular those relating to travel, physical distancing and quarantining of those with symptoms. If you’re attempting a DIY course and you find your route blocked, just detour around it and adjust your finish time accordingly. For more information, please see our dedicated Covid-19 page. It is probable that currently (mid May 2020) there are no toilets or other facilities open at any of the forest parks or OPW properties.

What is DIY Orienteering?

DIY orienteering lets you try out an orienteering event, in your own time, for free! Simply find a course near you on the map below, print it out and try to find your way around. Once you are finished, submit your time on the leaderboard and see how you compare to others!

New courses are being added all the time so check back regularly.

How does it work?

There are three types of courses:

  1. Virtual courses: these are generally old events which orienteering clubs have made public. There are no fixed markers. If you think you are in the right location, just move on and look for the next point! These are an excellent way to try out a real orienteering course in your own time, without any pressure.
  2. Permanent courses: these courses have fixed markers which tell you if you are in the right location. These are great for trying out the more complicated courses which you can find at a real-life event. Find out more about permanent courses.
  3. App-based courses: simply download the app, open the course and run around. The app will tell you when you reach the correct location. Apps currently in use include ‘Sporteering’ and ‘MapRunF’. See further details below. Instructions for MapRunF

In all cases, you can run as often as you wish. Try to beat your time from your previous attempt! Submit your time on our leaderboard and challenge your friends or family!

Note: You can still do the virtual courses without using the MapRunF or Sporteering apps but you won’t get any confirmation from the GPS that you are at the correct control points.

How do I orienteer?

The best way to learn is through trial and error! You don’t even need a compass, though it’s good to have one on harder courses. Simply find a map, print it out and take a walk around. Try to match up the paths with what you see around you. If you get lost, don’t panic. Just walk back to a location you recognise and try again. Check out our FAQ for more information.. Also, if you come to our public events, there will always be someone on hand who would love to show you the ropes.

Where can I go?

Simply click on a location near you for more information:

Note: Many of these areas also have longer or more difficult permanent courses as well. These can be found on the websites for the areas themselves. Some also have an “all-controls” map so you can make up your own courses.

What does the map mean?

Visit our detailed guide at:

This downloadable page helps to explain what the symbols on the map mean: Print it out and take it with you!

Safety and Disclaimer

Please note that you undertake these courses at your own risk. DIY courses are not manned. While most courses are in lower-risk public locations such as parks, some take place on open mountainside in remote terrain. It is your responsibility to ensure you are properly equipped and carry safety equipment appropriate to the location. Such items can include: waterproof jacket, hat, gloves, fully charged mobile phone, footwear with good grip and a whistle. Be aware that not all areas have phone coverage. Leave details of your plans with a family member or friend. If in doubt to your abilities, start with a lower-risk location and/or attend an organised event.

Availability of a map does not give you right to trespass on private property. You must gain permission of the landowner.

Download of maps is deemed acceptance of these conditions.

Warning: Do not leave valuable items visible in parked cars when you are out on a course.