New to Orienteering

Welcome to the world of orienteering! If you're looking for a new adventure--a lifetime sport that wilFirst look at the mapl take you, literally, off the beaten path, constantly challenge you, and let you discover new things about yourself and what you can do--orienteering may be the sport for you.

You'll find lots of information on the Orienteering USA website to help you learn about orienteering and try it for yourself. The New to O section includes:

  • What is Orienteering?: An introduction to the sport and how it works
  • Beginner's Guide: A series of articles to get you ready for your first event
  • O Lingo: A glossary of orienteering terms you're likely to hear
  • Resources: Links to helpful articles, websites and print materials
  • Videos: Learning videos on skills and techniques, plus a chance to see some orienteers in action

Orienteering is often called the thinking sport because it involves map reading and decision-making in addition to a great workout. It's a sport that everyone can enjoy, regardless of age or experience. The competitive athlete can experience the exhilaration of running through the woods at top speed, while the non-competitive orienteer can enjoy the forest at a more leisurely pace. Most events provide courses for all levels, from beginner to advanced, and the sport has been adapted for small children and people in wheelchairs.

If you love maps, exploring, and the great outdoors, try orienteering. You'll be hooked for life!

How can you try it?

More than 600 days of orienteering events took place in the U.S. last year. To find out about activities near you, check out the schedule of your local club. A few parks or clubs have set up permanent courses which you can visit at any time.

See you in the woods!

Basic Navigation: an article by COC member Rebecca Jensen