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Orienteering: a challenging

outdoor adventure
What is
• A challenging outdoor adventure
activity that combines cross country
running and the ability to read a map
and use a compass.
• It is the sport form of land navigation
in which participants use a map and
compass to navigate between check
points along an unfamiliar course.
• Gain the basic skills of land
navigation using a map and a
• Improve one’s physical fitness
• Learn to be self reliant in out doors
• Acquire an increased awareness of
the environment
What kind of equipments
do we need in an
Orienteering activity?
1. Maps
 Serves as the primary tool for
navigation to the participant and can
yield an enormous amount of
 Most common maps used for
orienteering are “topo” maps.
“topo”(topographical) map
 A map that indicates the topography of
the ground, and includes physical
features such as rivers, woods and
 the map contains location, date,
distance, direction, elevation, natural
terrain features and other features.
Topographic Map informations
1. Location
 Each map has a title describing a
location and contains longitude – north
pole to south pole and latitude – an
imaginary line around the Earth parallel
to the equator, coordinates that locate
the area on the earth surface.
2. Date
 the map must be up-to-date
3. Distance
 Every map depicts a portion of the earth
surface in reduced form
 The ratio describing the amount of this
reduction is called scale.
 1:24,000 topographical map
4. Direction
 the top border of the topographical map
 indicates north, east, west and north.
5. Elevation
 the unique feature of topographical maps
is their description of elevation in the land
6. Natural terrain features
 important natural features of the terrain
Example of which are bodies of water
including lakes, streams, swamps, cliffs,
woods, and fields
Orienteering maps contains detailed
information of its nature.
7. Other features
 houses, roads, bridges, and power lines are
among the other features symbolically displayed
on the map.
 the explanation for each symbol is contained in
the maps legend.
2. Compass
navigational instrument for finding directions.
 the compass is second only to the map
among the orienteer’s tools and serves to
supplement and confirm the information
given on the map
1. Scales
 These help measure distance on a map. If you
check the common scale for the maps in your
area before buying a compass and can get
them to match, this can make map work a bit
 A common scale for USGS topographic maps
is 1:24,000, but this isn’t always the case – so
check. If your compass and map scales don’t
match, most orienteering compasses have
centimeter and inch scales.
2. Direction of Travel
This is an arrow that is marked on the
baseplate. It guides the direction of travel
while following a bearing in the field.
3. Orienting Arrow
The orienting arrow is marked on the
bottom of the housing and rotates with the
housing. It allows the baseplate to be
aligned relative to the magnetic needle.
• To take a basic field bearing, the housing is
turned until the orienting arrow and the
magnetic needle are aligned. These two
elements are then kept in alignment while
following the bearing.
4. Declination Scale
Declination is the difference, in angle of
degree, between magnetic north and true
north. The declination scale makes it easier
to adjust for this difference. More
advanced orienteering compasses often
have an adjustable declination scale that
can be set, usually by way of a tiny screw
on the bottom of the compass.
5. Dial
 The dial is part of the housing and is marked
in two degree increments. When the dial is
rotated, the orienting arrow, declination scale
and orienting lines also rotate as part of the
6. Index Line / bearing marker
 This is where a bearing is read. A bearing is an
angle relative to true north (true bearing), or
magnetic north (magnetic bearing).
7. Magnetic Needle
 A magnetic strip of metal that is on a pivot in
the center of the housing. The north end is
usually painted red, while the other end is
often white or black.
8. Orienting Lines
 These lines are marked on the bottom of the
housing and rotate with it, the same as the
orienting arrow. They are also often called
meridian lines and north-south lines. When
taking a bearing from a map, the orienting
lines are aligned with the north-south map
grid lines.
8. Orienting Lines
These lines are marked on the bottom of
the housing and rotate with it, the same as
the orienting arrow. They are also often
called meridian lines and north-south
lines. When taking a bearing from a map,
the orienting lines are aligned with the
north-south map grid lines.
9. Housing
 A liquid filled capsule that contains the
magnetic needle. Orienting lines are
etched on the bottom of the housing,
and the dial is fixed to the top of the
housing. The liquid helps dampen the
needle movement, making it easier to get
a more accurate reading.
10. Base Plate
The base plate is used to taking bearing on
a map. The edge is placed between two
points and the orienting lines and dial act
as a protractor to give the bearing. The
base plate is marked with scales, direction
of travel arrow and index line.
Different kinds of compass
1. Plain watch compass
Appears as a pocket watch and is suitable
for general travel that requires limited
2. Wrist compass
Has a wrist band, allowing the wearer
free use of both hands
Does not provide/afford the accuracy
required for regular orienteering.
3. Lensatic compass
commonly called as army or prismatic
compass, its compass features excellent
sighting devices
Highly accurate, popular in map making.
4. Mirror compass
 used for course setting, map making and
back packing
Considered too heavy