Rich Wendling's Orienteering Page
picture of an orienteering control marker  Orienteering: The Thinking Sport   picture of an orienteering control marker

Successful Orienteering

Success in orienteering requires a number of different skills. The winner of the competition is the participant who completes the course in the shortest time, so running ability is beneficial. However, swift running alone will not enable a person to win. The orienteer must be able to read the map, select an appropriate route from one control point to the next, and successfully follow that route. Map reading and analysis skills are by far the most crucial. A successful orienteer will develop the ability to observe the terrain around them, look at the map, and identify where they are. They will develop the ability to determine the quickest route between points, as well as the navigational skills to traverse that route. Running ability helps, but it doesn't matter how fast a person runs, if they are running in the wrong direction. They just get lost faster. The key is to be able to know where you are on the map at all times.