Introduction to Orienteering

Lesson 4: Basic Navigation Routine

By Anthony Scott, 2020

1. Making a simple plan

  • Orientate the map and face the direction to the next control.
  • Make a simple plan that describes how you will navigate to the next control.
  • Start by finding a suitable attack point close to the control. An attack point is a large feature near the control that will be easy to find.
  • Then look for any simple linear features (or handrails) you can follow, such as tracks, fences, power lines, or watercourses. Also check for any catching features near the control that might help guide you in, or prevent you from going too far.
  • Check your exit direction and look ahead for the first thing you will be navigating to.

2. Navigating to the Attack Point

  • Navigate carefully to the attack point, following your plan exactly.
  • Thumb the map and always have the map oriented north.
  • As you progress through the forest, keep cross checking that the features on your map correspond with the features you see in the forest.

3. Finding the control

  • When you reach your attack point, stop, and take a careful look at the detail on the map near the control circle.
  • Check your control description so you know what you are looking for..
  • Orientate your map and check your direction. Proceed slowly towards the control, cross-checking, and scanning the forest for any features that will guide you towards the control.
  • When you reach the control, always check the code and then punch the control.

Navigation Hints

Stay in contact with the map all the time. if you need to, stop and cross check the map with the forest.

“It’s about the navigation more than the running. Let your brain control your speed, not your legs.”

Walk when the map reading requires it.

Use the map to predict what you will see next. Then look ahead and spot it.