Tips for Beginners
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION – Regular outdoor clothing will be suitable – just don’t expect to stay clean. Waterproofs can be a good idea if the weather is nasty (a rain jacket and whistle may be mandated for safety) and a spare set of clothing post-event is highly recommended. Regular orienteers wear light-weight polyester tops and trail runners that give grip in muddy conditions. Full leg cover is usually required at forest orienteering events, so shorts are not suitable.
ORIENTATE YOUR MAP – Always make sure that your map is set the correct way around or orientated. This means that the features which are in front of you on the ground are in front of you on the map. You can orientate your map using a compass or by lining it up with the linear features around you. At each control or decision point orientate your map and be sure to leave in the right direction.
THUMB YOUR MAP – To track where you are on the map it helps if you mark your position with your thumb. As you move along the ground you should move your thumb to your new position.
CHECK YOUR CONTROL CODE – 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. You should also check that the control is situated on the correct feature on your map. You will then know for sure that you have reached the correct control.
FOLD YOUR MAP – Always make sure that you fold your map so that you can easily see the part of the map that shows where you are.
HAVE FUN AND ENJOY YOURSELF – This is the most important skill to remember. Orienteering should always be fun and enjoyable.