CLOK logo


CLOK logo

For more information, click on one of the following links.

Why orienteering is different

Map and compass

The seven point plan

At a control

Between controls

At the Start

Compass bearings

Getting lost .... and found again

Punching at the wrong control

Return to the main About Orienteering page

Return to the CLOK home page

Between controls

5.   Check the feature (and the control code) of the next control.

When you get a spare moment between controls, look at your control descriptions and check the feature that your next control is on.  The rules of orienteering state that each control must be on or beside a mapped feature and, where possible, the planner will design the course so that you find the feature before you see the kite.  Knowing what feature you're looking for helps you to go to the right place, and also helps you to ignore other controls that you might see on your way.  There's a great temptation to go and check every kite that you see - "just in case" it's your control.  That's a bad idea for two reasons.  First, it wastes time.  Second, and more importantly, veering off your planned route to check controls is a very good way of losing track of where you are and where you're going.

6.   Are you seeing what you expect to see?

As you go along, keep checking whether you're actually seeing the features that you'd expect to see.  For example, if your strategy is to turn off the path at the third junction on the right, are you coming past the first and second junctions at about the right distance?  If the map shows a cleared area on the left of the path, is the cleared area there?

7.   Are you expecting what you see?

Also, if you see a significant feature then check whether you would expect to go past such a feature.  For example, if there's a ruined building beside the fence that you're following then check that a ruined building is shown at the appropriate place on your map.

Early warning that you've gone off route.

Checking that you're seeing what you expect and expecting what you see is a very powerful way of making sure that you don't go astray as you execute your strategy for getting to the next control.

If you either (a) fail to see a feature that you expect to see, or (b) see a significant feature that you don't expect to see then that's an indication that you've gone off route.  I'll come back to what to do about that in the page on Getting lost .... and found again.

Go back to step 1.

In most cases, however, you will arrive safely at your next control, where you go back to the beginning of the seven point plan (i.e. check the control code) and run through it again.

By the way, it's a good idea to keep your map turned so that straight ahead on the map is the same as straight ahead on the ground.  And don't be shy about folding your map.  There's no reason to treat an orienteering map with kid gloves.

Go back to the previous page. Go on to the next page.

Go back to the main About Orienteering page.