Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Recreation/Orienteering (South Pacific Division)

Orienteering (South Pacific Division)
South Pacific Division
Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 2001

Source: South Pacific Division (SPD) Honour Note: There have been a number of versions of this honour. The following requirements have been developed in conjunction with Orienteering Queensland and trialled over the past few years. This honour is not to be confused with the General Conference Orienteering Honour which is similar to the SPD Map & Compass Honour

Section 1 – Theory


1.1 What is Orienteering?

An orienteer at a control point

Orienteering is an International sport originating in Sweden in 1918 invented by Major Ernst Killander. The sport involves travelling through a course of controls where a card is stamped or a question is answered before moving on to the next control and on to the finish. The winner is the person to have the shortest time getting to all controls. Another version is a scored event where the competitor chooses which controls to visit in a set time. In this event the controls have different score values and points are deducted for being over time. In some competitions there are multiday events and have ability recognised courses. White Courses for the beginner, Yellow Courses, Orange Courses, Red Courses for the more experienced. Map and compass skills are an advantage for beginners and for experienced competitors a must. Orienteering Clubs usually have an Event each month. Events can include the following modes of transportation: running, mountain biking, canoeing, snow skiing, night events, memory events.

1.2 Name three disciplines of Orienteering


This should say, "Name the four disciplines of Orienteering as approved by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF)

1. Foot Orienteering.

2. Mountain Bike Orienteering

3. Ski Orienteering

4. Trail Orienteering

Foot Orienteering would include standard club events, competition events, day events, multiday events, Rogaine, night events.

Mountain Bike similar to foot but on a mountain bike.

Ski also similar but on snow with skis.

Trail Orienteering is for both able and people with physical disabilities competing together on an even playing field. On trails accessible to wheelchairs the person with the map reaches a decision area some distance from the control, there a choice has to be made between several controls in the area, one being the correct one. The controls are not actually visited. Then on to the next site. The aim is not in the overall speed but in accuracy of choosing the correct control. In competitions there are time constraints at the decision area and the speed of the choice is rewarded with points.

There are others that are not supported by the IOF but are of a local or world area jurisdiction.

Orienteering disciplines include Mountain Bike, Wheelchair, Snow Skiing, Parks and Street, Horseback, Scuba, Cross-Country, and canoeing.

Most orienteering events are standard cross-country ones where the controls must be visited in the specified order. These range from local club events where there may only be four courses offered to National Standard Events which have five to eight courses. There will generally be a Blue (Very Easy), Green (Easy), Orange (Moderate) and Red (Hard) course offered.(In New Zealand: White (very easy), Yellow (Easy), Orange (Moderate), Short Red (Hard), Long Red (Hard). In these types of competition, orienteers may enter any standard of course they wish. Men and women compete on the same courses regardless of their age.In Provincial and National Competitions competitors are split to gender and age (and competitive or novice) even though they may be doing the same course. Other types of events include:

Score - competitors are required to find as many controls as possible in a given time - usually 30 or 60 minutes - in no set order. Varying points are often allocated for each control. Those of the hardest technical standard have the highest points.

Scatter - competitors have to find all of the controls but may get them in any order

Night – all the above events can be done at night to give it a new dimension and extra difficulty. To ease the difficulty a little, torches are required and reflective tape is fixed to the control flag on all sides so that it will be seen at any direction whin torch light hits reflective tape.

1.3 List the items required for Orienteering using the following headings


a. Clothing

Clothing requirements should be based on climatic conditions at the time of the event. For beginners, wear comfortable outdoor clothes. Shorts are OK, but long pants will protect the legs when going through the bush or long grass. Keen orienteers compete in colourful ‘O suits’ made of lightweight, breathable nylon or lycra. These provide protection against vegetation as well as being comfortable to wear in warmer conditions. Many orienteers also use gaiters to protect their legs against scratches and bruising.

b. Footwear

For beginners, sturdy footwear such as joggers is adequate. There is a wide variety of special orienteering shoes available but many people find that shoes with rubber studs, designed for grass sports such as hockey, are also quite suitable. Running shoes generally do not provide sufficient ankle protection in rough terrain.

c. Equipment

An orienteering compass – these may be purchased from most outdoor stores or borrowed at the event

A map (supplied by the organisers)

A plastic bag to protect your map

A hat and wear sunscreen especially if it is likely to be hot

A whistle to attract attention if injured or lost

A watch

Water to drink, before and after the competition

Basic First Aid kit

1.4 Describe the basic rules and safety considerations for Orienteering


Orienteering is an individual sport with the emphasis being on self reliance and making your own decisions. While you are learning about the sport, you may go with a family group or other people but as you gain in experience and wish to be competitive, you need to be able to complete a course on your own. Younger children should not be allowed out on a course without an adult until they have demonstrated an ability to successfully navigate on their own. On most courses, you are required to visit the controls in the designated order. You should not follow, talk to or interfere with other competitors unless you are completely lost and unable to relocate yourself on your own. Movement of or removing controls will cause others to get lost and is frowned upon quite sternly.

Orienteers should return to the Assembly Area within 3 hours of starting their course, even if they have not completed it, otherwise a search will be mounted.


It is recommended to carry a whistle with you when competing to attract attention if lost or injured. The emergency signal is six blasts at ten second intervals, repeated every two minutes. Anyone hearing this must come to your assistance.

A Safety Bearing is given at the start. It is the direction to go if lost. Before starting, check to see if water is provided and at which controls on the courses. On hot days, carry some water so as to have plenty to drink both before and after competing.

It is recommended to carry a watch to know how much time has elapsed since starting. As with all sports, injuries can occur. Ankle sprains, cuts and scratches are the most common problems. Many orienteers strap their ankles with strapping tape to help prevent injuries. A First Aid kit is available at the registration area but it is suggested that you also bring a simple first aid kit with you to the event.

In Australia, snakes are rarely encountered during orienteering events as they tend to be scared away by the noise of competitors moving through the bush. However, if bitten, stay still and try and immobilise the affected limb and apply a pressure bandage from some of your clothing. Blow your whistle to attract the attention of other orienteers.

1.5 Explain the different levels of difficulty for Orienteering courses


Note. In some countries the colours of courses do differ.

In Queesnland (and most other States) Australia.

Blue (Very Easy): The beginner’s courses are usually about 1–2 km in length and follow easily identifiable, linear features such as tracks and fences.Controls are on the track or at junctions of tracks or features.

Green (Easy): These courses encourages some simple, off-track route choices. Controls may be up to 5 metres from the track or feature.

Orange (Moderate): These courses require a moderate standard of navigation. Controls may be up to 10 metres from the track or feature.

Red (Hard: These courses are the most technically difficult. They vary in length to suit age, standards of fitness and type of terrain. In fast open forest, the longest Red Course may be up to 15 km long while the shortest one may be 2 – 3 km in length. Course distances are set to achieve a certain winning time so will vary depending on the type of terrain. Even for very fit young orienteers, it is rare for them to achieve a kilometre rate better than 5 mins per kilometre in most terrain. Controls can be anywhere.

In New Zealand.

White (very easy). All controls will be on the path/ track at junctions or other features.

Yellow (easy). Some controls at junctions of tracks others about 6m from track.

Orange (moderate). Most controls up to 15m from a marked track or handrail.

Short Red (hard). All controls anywhere (usually about 12 controls, 2.5 km in length)

Long Red (harder). All controls anywhere (usually about 16 controls, can be 4 km length)

In some parts of the UK clubs have other course colours.

The Devon club:

White (very easy), Yellow, Orange, Red, Light Green, Green, Blue, Brown (hardest)

So if at another district or country it will pay to check out what the courses actually are.

1.6 Explain what to do on a typical Orienteering Course


NB. The objective of this requirement is to give participants a basic understanding of what is expected on a typical orienteering course. It is a precursor to the real thing. It gives participants an insight into the relevance of map-reading skills etc. There are useful hints.

Control descriptions After deciding which course to do, select a control description for that course. This lists the information about the controls you have to visit (ie. a description of the feature you are looking for as well as the number on the control flag that marks that feature). For the Blue (Very Easy), Green (Easy) and Orange (Moderate) courses, these descriptions will be written in English but for the Red courses, international symbols are used.

You also need to complete a control card. On the reverse side is a series of boxes corresponding to the controls you will visit. These boxes are used to record the control sites you have visited. The card also provides information for the event organiser, such as your start and finish time, so that your elapsed time may be calculated. It is important to complete both sections of this card as the tear off slip at the bottom enables the organiser to check that all competitors have returned safely. Fill in all the information that you can on the card, especially your name and phone number and the course you are doing.

The Start: The start of the event may be some distance from the registration area, so before you set off, check that you have:

Your map and a plastic bag to protect it.

The control description list.

Your control card.

A compass.

A whistle for safety.

A watch to check the time.

The route to the start will be indicated by signs or streamers. At the start, wait behind the sign indicating your course for the start official to allocate you a start time and write it on your control card. Competitors doing the same course are separated by at least two minutes at the start to minimise following. While you are learning about the sport, you may go around a course with a friend or family members if you wish.

Once the starter calls out the start time or the clock sounds its long “beep”, move to the master maps and copy your course carefully onto your blank map. In major competitions such as a Badge Event or State Championships, a pre-marked and bagged map will be provided for each competitor.

On the master map, a red triangle marks the positions of the Start of the course. The position of each control is depicted by a red circle and the finish is marked by a double circle.

The numbers beside each control indicate the order in which they are to be taken and correspond to the control description list for that course. On the course:

Once you have marked up the course onto your map, leave the Start area and decide how to navigate to your first control. Control sites are marked by orange and white, triangular markers, called flags – see the picture in Requirement 1. These are often hung from trees and bushes, generally up to 1m off the ground. The control number may be found on the side of these flags. In major competitions, the flags may be hung from metal stands, in which case the control number will be found on the side of the stand.

Flags have plastic punches attached to them which are used to mark the relevant box on the control card. Each flag has a different patterned punch and this is used to indicate that you have visited the correct control site. When stands are used, the punch is found on the top of the stand. You must visit the controls in their listed order. Orientate your map using linear features or your compass so that it is lined up with your direction of travel and the features on the ground. Try to match map features with what you see around you and vice versa. Near controls, looks for ground features that match those on your map rather than just searching for the orienteering flag. Be aware of the distance you are travelling.

At a control:

Note: For more details on Controls, see the following Requirement. When you get to the control, check that the feature and code number on the control flag (or stand) match your control description list. If you are sure it is the control on your course, use the punch to mark the corresponding numbered square on your control card. Move a short distance away from the control site and plan your route to the next control.

If you are uncertain where you are:

First, try to relocate yourself.

Use obvious, linear features such as tracks, fences or creeks if available, or go back to your previous control.

If you think you are completely lost and are unable to find where you are on the map, ask another orienteer for help or wait for assistance at any control you find. Someone will collect the controls after the course closure time and will be able to take you back to the assembly area.

If you follow the safety bearing given at the start, you may be able to get back to the assembly area on your own.

If all else fails, or if you are injured, stay still and blow your whistle. The emergency signal is six blasts at ten second intervals, repeated every two minutes. Anyone hearing this must come to your assistance.

At the finish:

As you pass the Finish banner, your time will be recorded and written on your control card which is handed to the finish officials. The card will then be checked to see that all the controls on your course have been visited.

Even if you have not completed your course, you must report to the Finish area so that the event organiser knows that you have returned safely. You should ensure that you return no later than 3 hours after you started or a search will be mounted.

A helpful method to use when on the course. Stop (Red): When you are near the next control stop have a good look around check the map see where you have to go immediately after the control.

Caution (Orange): Approach the control tactfully check that the number is correct make little noise or marks on ground.

Go (Green): No need to hang around and give the controls position away to another searcher, and you already know where to go next so go man go!!

1.7 Explain the symbols used on a typical Orienteering map


The orienteering map

An orienteering map is a specially produced topographic map and, as it shows a lot of detail, allows for precise bush navigation. Such maps depict natural features such as contours, watercourses, rock detail and vegetation as well as constructed features such as roads, buildings and power lines. Most orienteering maps are produced at a scale of 1:15,000 (i.e. 1 cm on the map equals 150m on the ground) although in detailed areas the scale is often 1:10,000. For park and school maps of small areas, the scale may be even larger eg. 1:5,000 enabling a lot of detail to be shown. Most of the maps produced for orienteering are printed in colour, allowing a variety of features to be clearly shown. The map displayed overleaf is an example of a typical orienteering map. Technical symbols

Magnetic north line, and other symbols.

Course Symbols

Course starts at the triangle and ends at the double circle symbol

Overprinting symbols The course is printed in purple colour. It consists of symbols for start, control points, control numbers, lines between control points, and finish. Extra information may also be shown, such as dangerous area, forbidden route, first aid post, and refreshment point.

For the vegetation, the colours on the map indicate how ‘runnable’ the terrain is from an orienteering perspective.

White sections depict generally open bushland;

Green areas show vegetation with the darker shades indicating very thick areas;

Yellow areas indicate more open ground where running is easier;

Black is for tracks, fences, powerlines and buildings but is also used for rock features such as boulders and cliffs; Also black parralel lines may indicate out of bounds areas

Grey represents areas of open rock, typically found in granite country

Blue is for water features such as creeks, dams and marshes (although these may be dry, depending on the season);

Brown is used for contour lines which join points of equal height but is also used to depict earth features such as ditches, earth banks and knolls.

In the margin of the map is a scale bar from which you can measure distances on the map. The legend shows the symbols used for the various features on the map.

The lines with arrows on the top of the map show the magnetic north. Orienteering maps are always produced with the top of the map aligned to magnetic north.

1.8 Name the parts of a typical compass used for Orienteering


The Silva compass is a very good one to use on map work. It has a plastic see through base. To get a good picture with a label of what each part is called check out google images. Some competitors make a small compass that is attached to the thumb.

  1. Scales. Inches and mm
  2. Transparent base plate
  3. North on dial
  4. Magnetic needle north end
  5. Liquid filed housing with graduated dial and orienting line
  6. Direction of travel arrow
  7. Magnifying lens
  8. Index pointer (for setting bearings and reading
  9. Orienting arrow
  10. Dial graduations 360 deg

1.9 Demonstrate how to orientate a map using land features and a compass


All Orienteering maps have magnetic grid lines. Line up the compass magnetic needle to parallel the magnetic grid lines.

1.10 Show your knowledge of the following


a. Land formations and contour lines

There are more formations that you can recognize with time and experience.

The map symbols can be divided into several groups: Land forms, rock and boulders, water and marsh, vegetation, man-made features, technical symbols, and overprinting symbols. The symbols used should be explained in a separate legend section.

Land forms


Land forms are contours, slope lines, contour values, earth bank, knoll, depression, small depression, pit, broken ground, and special land form features. These symbols are drawn with brown colour. The contour interval is usually 5 m but can be less.

Rock and boulders

This group covers cliffs, boulders, boulder fields and clusters, and stony or sandy ground. Black color is used for these symbols.

Water and marsh

Lakes, ponds, waterholes, rivers, water channels, marshes, wells. The symbols are drawn with blue color.


Vegetation: White color is forest, yellow is open area, and green indicates reduced runability.

Green and yellow colors are used to indicate runability. White is woody area with good runability. Yellow color shows open area, while the green color represents density of the forest and of the undervegetation. Darker green means lower runability, scaling from easy running (white), to slow running, difficult, very difficult, and impassable. Green vertical stripes are used for area with dense undergrowth (slow or difficult running) but otherwise good visibility. Cultivated land (normally prohibited area due to growing crops) is shown with black dots on yellow background.

Man-made features

Man-made features are roads, tracks, paths, bridges, railway, powerlines, stone walls, fences, buildings, etc. Drawn with black color.

Contour lines are lines of the same altitude and can be 2.5 m apart, so small differences in land forms are easy to spot. These lines also give a good idea of the shape of the land you are to travel through and this may alter the line of travel choice to get to the next control.

Contour lines show these features Knoll, small knoll, depression, small hole, small depression, earth bank, Re-entrant, hill, pond, rocks and boulders.

b. The scale used on Orienteering maps

The map scale is normally 1:7500, but other scales are also produced for various purposes. 1:15000 means that one mm on the map represents 15000 mm on the ground which equates to 1mm on the map equalling 15 metres on the ground

c. Handrails. List four possible handrails you could follow.

These are an essential part of any route. It is worth going a bit out of your way to follow them for basic and intermediate level orienteering. They can be tracks, edge of vegetation, mapped fences, streams, clearings etc. You can link point features together to make a line.




Roads / tracks

Power lines

d. The use of Attack Points

Large or obvious features near control

Safest version is the crossing of two handrail features advanced example is a special shaped knoll in amongst many knolls.

Advanced technique may use 2 or more attack points e.g. a huge knoll about 1-200m from control, then a re-entrant on the side of the knoll, then the pit that is the control feature.

e. Aiming Off

This is a technique of purposely going of the compass bearing knowing that you are heading for a fence, path, small track. For example you are not following a track but though easy run able open forest your next control is 250 m away on a 90 deg bearing along a fence line. To save time in finding the control you purposely choose to head slightly to the left of the bearing so you know once you get to the fence line the control has to be along the fence a bit to your right. With out ”aiming off” if you stuck to the bearing and arrived at the fence and you were not accurate enough you would not know if the control was to the left or to the right.

1.11 Complete a theoretical orienteering exercise


A good exercise for a group is to find a reasonably flat area of ground. Mark the starting spot. Prepare to walk on a 180 deg bearing get one of your group to walk 20 steps on the bearing the compass holder cab correct his walk then the rest of the group joins him, swap rolls and continue for another 20 steps. Repeat this 3 more times. Next the group walks 10 steps on a 90 deg bearing. Prepare to walk on a 360 deg bearing and go in stages as before. After the 5 stages find how close you are to the start mark. The group should be 20 steps away from the mark and it should be on a bearing of 270 deg. Another exciting version of this is to have slightly sloping ground and do it at night with candles or torches.

Section 2 – Practical


2.1 (12)Find your own pace count


Walk for 500m counting how may steps you have taken. Now you know how many paces it takes to travel 500m. From this you can really accurately measure distance you need to travel on a map to the reality of walking a trail so you know where you are and how close you are to the next control or track junction turn off.

2.2 (13)Show how to find the direction of travel (setting a compass bearing)

Setting compass to a bearing

When the needle is aligned with and superimposed over the outlined orienting arrow on the bottom of the capsule, the degree figure on the compass ring at the direction-of-travel (DOT) indicator gives the magnetic bearing to the target (mountain).

2.3 (14)Complete each of the following courses at least once


In the original honour requirements of many years ago in the practical part of this honour one had to do: a theoretical exercise which is in another requirement , a normal course, a scored course, a night event. In the latest version SPD 2013 a couple more courses have been added. In my opinion if you can achieve an orange course successfully a couple of times or a green (yellow) course and an orange course plus the night event there should be no reason to do a blue (white) course.

Please note that in some countries the colours of these courses may differ.

a. Blue (Very Easy) Course.

b. Green (Easy) Course.

c. Orange (Moderate) Course

d. Scored Event.

Competitors visit as many controls as possible within a time limit. There is usually a mass start (rather than staggered), with a time limit. Controls may have different point values depending on difficulty and there is a point penalty for each minute late. The competitor with the most points is the winner. The large-scale, endurance-style version of a Score-O is known as a rogaine, competed by teams in events lasting (often) 24 hours. A very large area is used for competition, and the map scale is smaller. The format originated in Australia. The term ROGAINE is often said to stand for Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance; this is essentially a backronym, as the name actually originates from the names of Rod, Gail and Neil Phillips, who were among Australian Rogaining's first participants.

e. Night Course.

Lots of fun. Take a good torch hand held or a head lamp. Some purists do not like you having a real powerful torch. For the first time choose an easier course than that you would normally do in the day time.

Note: Those who like a challenge and who wish to improve their Orienteering skills are encouraged to do a Red (Hard) Course. This is not required for this level of Orienteering.

Find a club close to you. Most have their programmes on a web site. Pay the small fee to compete. This pays for your map and helps the club cover operating costs. Compasses can sometimes be borrowed from the club. Have lots of fun. Feel free to ask the organizers lots of helpful questions. Usually the club will send you a monthly newsletter with the results of the courses. This is a cheap family activity. You do not need any special clothing, unless you get more experienced and enter lots of national competitions

2.4 (15)Prepare a ‘Room Orienteering Map’ and run an event based on this map


About the Author



The contribution of materials and advice from Orienteering Queensland is gratefully acknowledged; in particular that from Liz Bourne & Eric Andrews. (From the SPD Honours resources). These helped in some of the comprehensive answers.

Hi from New Zealand

Geoff Harvey worked for 13 years selling electrical and plumbing materials to tradespeople. For a year I was primarily in charge of the electrical sales counter and had some control of ordering stock. For a number of months I filled in as the company electrical sales rep one day a week where I would travel to Te Anau and Manapouri. The company restructured several times and I had a few too many bosses and I had to leave. Without steady employment with my wife we did a little interior painting in several homes and a couple of doctors premises. I then moved on to travelling 18 km to Winton to work on a church member's farm sometimes in his timber mill or stooking oats and chaff cutting. He was starting up a new retail business so I was involved in shifting old 'rubbish' from his old shed to storage. Doing 3 phase electrical wiring up of motors etc. Builders assistant in the building of his new home. About this time I took on driving a school bus for our church school and then doing general maintenance and coal fired boiler maintenance at a residential home. 14 years later (2009) I drive the school bus for Southland Adventist Christian School and work at Bainfield Park Residential Care.

My family consists of me, my wife, 4 children. Oldest son is in final year at Canturbury University, next son first year at Canturbury University, daughters at high school.

Currently I am the Director of the Invercargill Pathfinder Club. Have been involved in Pathfindering leadership in various positions for about 30 years Received PLA badge. Love the outdoors: tramping, canoeing, music (piano keyboard and singing). My church life is busy sometimes too busy. I am an Elder with Children's Ministries responsibilities and the church Clerk.



Photos Session One 1. What is Orienteering

Photo and diagram Session One 2. Explain map features The Little Book of Orienteering Techniques by Jean Cory-Wright NZOF Coaching Director March 2000.

Text portions Session Two 1. Land formations, Session Three 1. Aiming off, 2. Attack points

Picture of using a compass Session Two 4.

Compiler Geoff Harvey Invercargill Pathfinder Club.