Beginner's Corner

New to Orienteering?

You'll find lots of information on the Orienteering USA website.

There is a lot of orienteering content on YouTube. Here are some of the better intro videos.




Note that the color codes of orienteering courses, explained at 7:55, differ from the course colors used in the U.S.

Red Bull/Facebook video that visualizes the skills of an orienteering world champion.

Judith Wyder video

NEOC's Bring-your-own-map (BYOM) courses allow "punching" by smartphone. This article explains how to use it.

QR-code orienteering (a.k.a. QRienteering) lets you use your smartphone to record your visit to each orienteering control on a course. If you are experienced with e-punching, you will find QRienteering very similar to use.

COVID caution: Please do not touch the control flags or QR codes. They are not sanitized.

If you're familiar with QR codes

Your phone will need an internet connection while orienteering. Go to the Start location with your course map, compass, and phone. There you will find QR codes labeled Registration, Start, and Finish. (Note that Finish may be at a remote location, shown on your map.)

  1. Scan the Registration code. A page will load in your browser where you can enter your name and choose your course, then click the "Submit" button.
  2. When you're ready, click the "Start course" button in your browser, or scan the Start code. Allow the response page to load in your browser.
  3. At each control location, scan the code posted there, and allow the response page to load.
  4. At the finish location, scan the Finish code. A page will load reporting your time on course, with links to the current finish times for each course.

Want to run another course? Repeat from step 1 above.

If you're new to QR codes

You will need a smartphone that can access the internet while you're in the woods. Also, you may need to install an app to read QR codes.

A QR code is a way of entering a web address into your phone's browser. Reading a QR code is generally as simple as pointing your phone's camera at the "mottled square" symbol (and maybe clicking a prompt to visit the encoded website).

• Test your phone •

Scan this QR code. It will load the NEOC homepage in your phone's browser:
code NEOC

by Lydia O’Connell, age 10

I sprinted to the first control/flag and stuck my finger thing in it. Yes! One down, 10 to go. I really got the hang of it after the first control. I was orienteering with my family and I was on a Yellow. I got the time of 68 minutes and something seconds. After that I challenged my brother to a White. And he accepted. He won by a measly 1 minute and 30 seconds. Life is unfair.

Boston GlobeRead about a NEOC event from the perspective of first-timer, and Boston Globe reporter, Brian MacQuarrie.

Photo courtesy of awesomefound.

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