Orienteering has a number of variations. At a typical orienteering event, there are several courses of varying distance and difficulty. The easiest course might be less than two miles long, and not require the participant to leave the trails. Some of the advanced courses may be over eight miles long, and the orienteer may never even see a trail. Courses of intermediate distances and difficulties are also available.
Another variation is the "score-o" format, where the orienteer finds as many control markers as possible in any order within a prescribed amount of time.
Orienteering can be done on cross-country skis, mountain bikes, or in canoes; in the day or at night; on a playground or city park, or in the wilderness; as an individual sport, with a group, or as a relay.
A relatively new form of orienteering called " Trail-O" has been developed in order to allow participants in wheelchairs or with handicaps to orienteer.
Rogaining is a form of score-o that takes place over a huge area over a long period of time, often as much as 24-hours.
String-O is a form of orienteering for small children where the child follows a string from point to point.
The number of variations is nearly limitless. Orienteering can be adapted to nearly any location for any age group and ability level.