Miami Valley Orienteering Club Miami Valley Orienteering Club

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Getting Started With Orienteering

Course Decisions

What course do I choose?
There are two main types of events we offer: score and normal. In a score event everyone has the same set of controls to find within a given amount of time, with point deductions for finishing overtime. It's designed such that the best orienteers may have just enough time to visit them all. So visit what you can within the time frame, and don't be late getting back.

In a normal (a.k.a. cross-country) event there are several courses to choose from based on skill level. This course guide is written by Karen Dennis, former MVOC member currently residing in San Diego. The link takes you into sconet (Southern California Orienteering NET) where her course guide page is posted.

The MVOC normal event courses are usually: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, and Red.

For courses at the Miami Valley Jr. O Champs, refer to the Jr. O Champs rules.

Orienteering USA A-Meets use a Competitive Course/Class Structure. It is for A-meets only. These are listed on the National Events Calendar.

Compass Headings

How to use a compass.
Orienteering originated in the Scandanavian countries, and this link (currently hosted by Metal Detecting World) takes you to an internationally acclaimed illustrated guide by Norwegian Kjetil Kjernsmo! Don't worry, the pages are in English. Move in the right direction, and get training from the best!

A good secondary source of info on compasses is here, though much of it is for USGS maps and not orienteering specific maps.

High Technology

Many of our events use electronic punching, a fun and new way to keep track of your time on the course. Take a look at our electronic punching page for all the ins and outs of its use.

Do you know your map symbols? Get familiar with them.

How about the clue sheet?  (formally known as the Control Descriptions)

Now Test your knowledge!


Most importantly, Dress Appropriately for the Weather Conditions.

  • Orienteering is an outdoor activity.
  • Be prepared for chilling rain, extreme cold, and extreme heat. Carry water when conditions dictate.
  • Wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants. This is mainly for protection from cuts and abrasions from thorns and branches. They also protect you from noxious plants such as poison ivy and poison sumac.
  • Layer your clothing in cool and cold weather.
  • Break in shoes and boots before using them for orienteering.
  • Wear comfortable socks that perform when wet such as wool.
  • For reduced friction, wear a polypropylene liner sock under your regular socks.

More Training

For more training info look at the Orienteering USA training page.

Archived Results

Orienteering Locations

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