What is orienteering?

If you’re wondering what orienteering is like and whether it might be for you, these videos should answer your questions and give you an idea of what this exciting, adventurous, yet also mindful, sport is all about.

Graham Gristwood (Team GB and Forth Valley Orienteers member) explains everything you need to know for your first race: how to use a map and compass, understanding the map symbols, what sort of things you might be looking for, how to use the electronic timing devices.
Don’t try to remember all the details – we can teach you on the day – and don’t be put off by the “Run Hard” bit – you DON’T have to run if you don’t want to!
Bet you didn’t know that orienteering can be done in the middle of town? The basics are the same – map, navigation, route choice – just the added attraction of a coffee shop half way round if that’s your thing.
Every two years all the Scottish clubs get together to put on a 6 Day festival of orienteering. This promo for 2021’s event gives you a flavour of the great holiday atmosphere as well as the serious competition that goes on and shows why it’s such a big favourite with orienteers from all over the world.

OK we can’t guarantee to be able to make you run as fast as these lads from neighbouring club, Moravian Orienteers, but we will make sure you have as much fun while you’re learning. We’ll provide the specialised maps, tuition, advice and tips – all you need to bring is a pair of trainers/trail shoes you don’t mind getting a bit muddy and a friend if you want to share the laughs.

Where? Forest, moor, sand dunes, urban, park (in Aberdeen City and Shire for Gramp)

When? Weekends, weekday evenings and nights (usually Wed for Gramp)

Who? Everybody welcome whatever your level of experience or fitness

Age? Any – from kids in buggies upwards

– a compass +
– a timing device (we can lend you both to get you started)
– a special O map +
– a list of control points on your course (which we’ll give you both before you start)

Clothing? Stuff you’d wear for a walk/run round a (potentially) muddy forest or round town depending on the event

How far? Choose from a few km on paths through to 10+km epics off-road

Cost? Typically £5 for Senior, £2.50 for Under-20/Students for a small local event ideal for beginners

How do I find races? Check our website Events page for dates and details

Do I have to join the club up front? No, you can ‘try before you buy’ as many times as you like

Do you do training/coaching? We arrange group sessions usually in Springtime but also happy to talk you through things individually any time

Still have questions…? Email us and we’ll do our best to answer them

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