Orienteering is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It can be a competitive race combining strategic thinking, navigation, and cross-country running. But it can also be enjoyed as a recreational activity, as a unique way to experience the woods.

A standard orienteering course consists of a series of control sites that are marked by circles on the map.  In the terrain, control flags mark the locations that you must visit. The route between controls is not specified, and it is entirely up to you to choose your own route. This element of route choice and the ability to navigate through the forest are the essence of orienteering.

There are many  online resources which can help you to develop your orienteering skills:

How to navigate when you have only contour lines? Elite runner Raffael Huber shows you how to execute a difficult leg from the JWOC 2016, in the terrain:

 

Practice your Map Symbols

Each color on the map refers to a different type of feature (click to enlarge).

(Source: Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering)