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Discussion: Moving from beginner to intermediate level orienteering

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

Jan 30, 2018 1:29 PM # 
What online articles or websites are there discussing how to teach orienteers the step-change from beginner to intermediate?

I had this request come through the OUSA website from a club leader who's not on AP:

Is there an article to help people move from yellow to orange. The book by Ferguson and Turbyfill is excellent. Does it exist online or something similar?

I'll point him to the few articles I know are already on the OUSA website, but if you all have other suggestions it would be a great addition.
Jan 30, 2018 2:20 PM # 
Interesting, I was thinking to write a book or create a web-based tool about MTBO and techniques to improve, and agree that there is lack of resources in one place, though there a lot of them out there that require deep digging. If you send me PM to my email I will send some stuff.
Jan 30, 2018 4:51 PM # 
This would be a great resource on the OUSA website. I think that it's an important, and sometimes difficult transition...from navigation using a model of linear features (map, and mental model) to navigation using, well, everything else, including contours.

I found that what helped with this when I started was map-making a thirty acre park (better that than a large forest where one will be tempted to go too quickly and not learn). It's a constant correction of one's mental model of what one sees, based on how things reconcile with compass bearings, pace counts, GPS and other evidence about how things relate. I'd suggest even taking bearings, pace counts, GPS tracks and waypoints on topographic features...along reentrants or ridges, along contours, between knolls, and so forth, as a learning exercise. Again, this is in the context of learning intermediate orienteering skills by improving one's ability to mentally visualize a map of the terrain, and mentally visualize the terrain from the map, not learning map making (though it's a good very early start on that too).
Jan 30, 2018 5:21 PM # 
Orienteering Ontario's book from the 1980s, "Orienteering: Skills and Strategies" by Ron Lowry and Ken Sidney, is useful at that stage of learning. It can be downloaded for free now, thanks to the generosity of the authors and publisher.
Jan 30, 2018 5:23 PM # 
The patch program doesn't have detailed explanations of how to perform the skills, but it will help with understanding what you should be working on at each level.

I want to put in a plug for the book "Discovering Orienteering" (Ferguson and Turbyfill as mentioned above). Many people don't seem to realize that this is OUSA's Book. We make royalties from the sales. So no, there would not be any plan to port the content of the book online. People should purchase it and OUSA should do more to market it as our primary suggested resource.
Jan 30, 2018 10:17 PM # 
Agree with Clare we worked together on the patch program progression. I have the skills progression that we talked about that I give out at coaching clinics. It does not have the exercises to go with it but lays out what a person should know and be able to do at the end of the yellow that will have them properly prepared for the orange level and the same for orange to advanced.
Jan 31, 2018 2:47 AM # 
Gudeso, I'll shoot you an email.

FWIW, here's what I replied to the inquirer (with a few more comments regarding Discovering Orienteering not being in the OUSA site):

Here's what I could find on the OUSA website regarding O skills training. You might find something useful on one or more of those pages.

An exercise not mentioned below but which helped me immensely to make the mental leap was to orienteer on a contours-only map (if you have a suitable, fairly-open-woods map/area to use). Make sure learners understand what the contour lines mean; there are a number of pages online that demonstrate reading topo maps.

Thanks to others for your comments. If you have more let me know!
Feb 1, 2018 3:52 AM # 
This might be of use:
Feb 2, 2018 1:41 AM # 
Greig, that is a great little booklet with a lot of good ideas. Thanks for sharing!
Feb 6, 2018 1:54 AM # 
Having moved up not so long ago, the books mentioned are great. And there are some excellent videos online, including those from Glenmore Lodge in Scotland, and Rick and Kelsey Breseman. However, the most important aids were the map walks that Jon Torrance and Tom Nolan led us on, after usual meets, to talk though looking at the terrain and comparing it with the map, route choices proposed by various members of the group, and answering questions as they came up. I strongly recommend that clubs provide those kinds of help. At the orange level, there is a big difference between knowing in your head what you should be doing and trying to put it into practice. (Thanks QOC!)

I also found some of the discussions of advanced orienteerings on this blog very helpfujl. It would be nice for someone to tag them as "learning" discussions. For example, there was one on o'ing in rocky terrain that I recall helping.
Feb 6, 2018 1:59 AM # 
Neal Barlow of RMOC has been offering such walks, with great reviews and good numbers.
Feb 6, 2018 1:43 PM # 
Agreed, Hammer took me on a couple of map walks in my early days of orienteering and that was a huge help. Also his sister Nina used to teach some great half-day nav courses in the woods.
Feb 7, 2018 11:38 AM # 
Very insightful thanks o-darn
Feb 8, 2018 1:17 AM # 
Is there a one stop shop place that hosts the videos you speak of, for
Glenmore Lodge in Scotland
as well as
Rick and Kelsey Breseman
Feb 8, 2018 2:47 AM # 
Here are the Breseman videos--
Mar 7, 2018 1:34 AM # 
Here are links to some of the Glenmore Lodge videos. (I didn't see a place on their website where they have them all, and I'm not sure how many there are.) -- This one is very good and has helped me relocate on a number of occasions, and no one has ever mentioned it to me.

It would be nice if there were a portal to useful tools online. I'd certainly help populate it.
Mar 7, 2018 1:45 AM # 
Actually, here are links to two of Glenmore Lodge's playlists:

Navigation Further Techniques:

This is their general video webpage:
Mar 7, 2018 1:53 AM # 
That Glenmore guy demonstrating the bearing along a track had his compass hanging from his neck. DQed himself as an expert in my eyes right there.
Videos and You Tube are popular with lots of oreinteers. Generally I find them good for entertainment and general information but pretty crappy as a teaching tool as everyone is doomed to learn at the same speed and there is no interaction and it is not easy to stop and review. Most amateur narrators, self included, just don't have the voice projection for the job, too.
Give me a slide show any day.
Mar 7, 2018 2:43 AM # 
This is a link to the OUSA web page that lists videos.
In this list are all the skills that are included in the book Discovering Orienteering.
Mar 7, 2018 11:29 AM # 
I also use this one to analyse performance after MTBO events

This discussion thread is closed.