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Why Do People Choose Orienteering?

Orienteering is a sport that both children and adults enjoy for lots of different reasons. Some people like being out in the countryside and visiting places that they may not normally go whilst others do it to keep fit or get fitter. Orienteering can be done at walking or running pace ­ it is a competitive sport for people who want it to be. Orienteering can be a confidence builder for people of any age as they learn how to use a map and navigate around a course.
Whether an adult, child, family or group there is something for everyone. A range of courses of different lengths and technicality will be offered at all events so there is something to suit everyone of all ages and abilities. It truly is an inclusive sport where all family members can join in at the same time.

What Equipment Do I Need?

To start orienteering you will only need a few things:

  • Trainers that have some grip and you don’t mind getting a bit muddy!
  • Full length running or comfortable trousers that you don’t mind if they get a bit muddy. This is to protect your legs from any low level vegetation.
  • A navigational compass to help keep your map orientated (although this is not essential at the beginning as it is recommended to try an easier course first)

At an organised event you also need:

  • A timing unit, usually called a ‘dibber’ to record your run time. You can borrow one of these and will not need to buy one initially
  • A whistle (just in case)

Where and When Can I Start?

A good way to try orienteering is to go to an organised event labelled as a Level C or D event as these are smaller events, more informal and there will be someone who can help you. There will usually be events on offer somewhere in the Yorkshire region most weekends and sometimes during the week. Other things you can do include a Permanent Orienteering Course (POC) or a Virtual Orienteering Course (VOC). Information about these can be found on the EPOC and British Orienteering (BO) websites. You can do a POC or VOC at any time to suit you and practice at your own speed.

Will There Be Someone There To Help Me?

At an organised event someone will be able to help you get started if you ask when you arrive. If you know you will be going to an event and require some help you could email the organiser in advance to request this so they can arrange for an experienced orienteer to already be on hand to assist you.
Information is given on the EPOC and BO websites to help you get started with a POC or VOC.

How Do I Find Out About Events?

You can find out about EPOC events on the EPOC website. The easiest way to find out about all other events is on the BO website where you can apply filters to search for suitable events, e.g. if you filter ‘YHOA’ (Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association) it will show all the events in this region.

What Are The Different Events?

There are 4 main levels of events. These are Major Events (Level A) which are on the best quality areas around the country and attract thousands of orienteers, some who may come from overseas. National Events (Level B) are on high quality areas and usually also attract a large number of competitors. Keen orienteers will travel some distance to these events. Regional Events (Level C) are designed to predominately attract people from that region, e.g. Yorkshire & Humberside and some people from neighbouring regions will also travel to these events. Finally there are Local (Level D) events which are usually attended by a small amount of people. These events are informal and low key to support newcomers to the sport as well as offering experienced orienteers a more technical course.
Events are also offered within different areas, e.g. forest, moorland, urban.

Each weekend you would usually be able to find an event to go to that isn't too far away.

How Do I Enter An Event?

You will need to check the details on the website of the club hosting the event but as a rough guide, Level A and B events will need to be entered in advance (pre-entry) by an online entry system which will be explained in the details. Level C and D events may use a combination of pre-entry and/or also offering the option to turn up and enter on the day (EOD). Just make sure to check the event details in advance.

I Want To Do More Orienteering But Why Do I Need To Join A Club?

If you enjoy orienteering and want to develop your skills and/or get more involved with the sport you need to join a club. EPOC is a small and friendly club where you will be able to meet experienced orienteers who are only too happy to share their experience and help you if you need any tips. You will also have the opportunity to help out at EPOC events which is a great way to meet people and learn more new skills. You will receive regular emails with updates of events and other useful information as well as a quarterly magazine which is packed with lots of useful and interesting information and articles. If you join EPOC you will also become a member of British Orienteering (BO) with further access to national information about orienteering.




© East Pennine Orienteering Club
Page updated: June 30 2021
Any comments regarding this website will be thoughtfully received!