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New to Orienteering?

What is Orienteering?

Newcomers to Orienteering

Newcomers to Orienteering

Last edited: Sun 30 Jan 2022

If you haven't tried orienteering before or are not very experienced these pages should explain everything you need to get started.

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport. The aim is to navigate between control points marked on a special orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.

Orienteering can take place anywhere from forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds.

To start orienteering all you need is a sense of adventure and a pair of trainers. It's a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Next Steps

So, you want to try orienteering? Many people have their first time orienteering at a Permanent Orienteering Course. You can have a go in your own time with no pressure.

For those of you wanting to get a bit more involved, we run many different types of event. These range from the super friendly and family-oriented JOGs through the social evening Street Series to the more competitive QOFLs. We also offer Beat the Trail courses for those who prefer the running more than the navigation.

You can find out more about what it is like to attend a JOG activity, or a QOFL event and what to wear. We also have an explanation of the jargon you might hear.

As you progress, you might want to take a look at our training resources or join our Buddy Scheme.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Benefits of Orienteering

Orienteering forms a great part of any running training programme. We often get people who are doing a Couch to 5k come along for a bit of variety. Due to the rough terrain of our more advanced courses, it is perfect for trail runners looking to push themselves.

The challenge of the sport at its higher levels can come as a surprise even to those who are very sporty or adventurous - read this posting on Mudstacle. But it is perfectly possible to get started and have fun without even breaking a sweat.

There are many physical and mental health benefits of orienteering:

  • balance between mind and body
  • promotes self reliance
  • sharpens decision-making skills
  • helps develop good ways of thinking under pressure
  • increases muscular fitness
  • increases cardiovascular capacity
  • gets you out into nature
  • improves self-esteem
  • you become part of a supportive community

At an event

At an event

Orienteering in Somerset

Whilst you are very much welcome at any of our events without being a member, we do hope you will join our club. You do get some benefits, including discounts at selected retailers.

And finally, you should check out the videos, photos and posts on our social media feeds: