Orienteering is a sport for outdoor enthusiasts who like to test their brains as well as their bodies! It is an outdoor activity where you walk or run a course via a series of checkpoints, using a map for guidance. Most of the Scottish Orienteering events take place in the Scottish countryside, so you can connect with nature and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of our forests and glens. If you prefer towns and cities, you can try urban orienteering, which provides different scenery and challenges.

If you like being active outdoors in Scotland and enjoy a challenging experience, orienteering is the perfect sport for you. You can enjoy it as an individual, a family, or a group and all you need is a pair of trainers and comfortable clothing to get involved. Events take place throughout the year and many of these are totally accessible to people of differing levels of fitness and mobility.

It has lots to offer those keen for a new challenge with sprint, urban, night events and plenty of different distance options too. Events are organised by local clubs throughout Scotland and as a sport, it provides an ideal opportunity to develop your navigation skills. If you need to improve your map reading skills, want to head for hills, are taking on an adventure race or you just like to challenge your brain whilst exercising, give orienteering a go!

Using a detailed map you navigate a course of “control” points, each of which is marked with an orange and white ‘kite’. There’s no set route between the controls, so you have to decide which way to go and find your way there.

You’ll combine techniques including environmental awareness, decision making, planning and problem solving – so there’s much more to it than running – and fastest isn’t always best!

You can walk or jog around a course for the challenge, for the exercise or just to simply enjoy the scenery. You can choose to view it as an adventure sport, a chance to connect with nature, an outdoor activity, a competitive sport, a social occasion or a solo activity.

The best thing about orienteering is that regardless of age, ability or course everyone can participate together, walk, jog or race! Go solo or round as a pair, orienteering has something to offer everyone.

Take a look at Scottish Orienteering new website (www.scottish-orienteering.org) or British Orienteering (www.britishorienteering.org.uk) for information on clubs and event near you.

Why not take on a new challenge for 2019, find some friends to join you on www.challengechum.com and enter an Orienteering event near you!