Basics and Beyond

Our Basics & Beyond program is an 8 week program for adults that will teach you the basics of orienteering and then move beyond that to guide you through the first skills required to comfortably complete novice and intermediate level orienteering courses. This is a skills course - while there can be a large physical component to orienteering we do not touch on that aspect of orienteering. In other words, you may run, walk, hop, skip... at whichever speed you wish! Over the course of the eight weeks we will go over the following skills and more:

  • Basic map reading skills
  • Understanding a standard orienteering legend
  • Keeping your map oriented using terrain features and your compass
  • Route choice and navigation systems

Each evening will consist of a combination of instructions from your instructor, independent learning, and a chance to practice the new skill at hand.

Note that the program does not teach declination and similar skills not used in orienteering and does not put an emphasis on compass skills so this is not the program for those wanting to learn those kinds of skills. Teenagers who would prefer to learn in an adult environment are also welcome in this program.

Have kids that are looking for a new sport? Our Basics and Beyond program is offered at the same time as our youth programs so the whole family can learn orienteering at the same time!

Times and Locations

We offer our Basics and Beyond program twice a year, with a spring season and a fall season.

Each season runs for 8 weeks and visits two different venues for 4 weeks each.

Programs are run in conjunction with our youth programs at the same time and in the same place for family convenience.

Spring 2018 (April - May)

Locations Times Dates Venue 1 Venue 2 Events and Competitions
Ottawa West Tuesday evenings, 6:30 April 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Wesley Clover Parks Campground (April 10 - May 1)
Meet at the main campground parking lot at the top of the hill. There is an outhouse on site that we can use.
Bell Centennial Arena (May 8 - 29)
Meet at the trailhead in front of the Bell Centennial Arena (Bruin Lane, off Cassidy Rd in Bells Corners)
Free family pass entry to Pinhey’s Point Family Day
Free family pass entry to one of our Sunday morning Spring Series events

Fall 2018 (September - October)

Note: Due to low registration numbers we are not running our Basics and Beyond program this fall.
Locations Times Dates Venue 1 Venue 2 Events and Competitions
Ottawa West Tuesday evenings, 6:30 Sept 11, 18, 25, Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Nepean Sportsplex (Sept 11 - Oct 2)
Meet at the main trail head at the back of the parking lot behind the Sportsplex. Look for the Orienteering Ottawa club banner
Britannia Park (Oct 9-30)
Meet at the small pavilion south of the first Britannia Park parking lot. Look for the Orienteering Ottawa club banner.
Free individual pass entry to one of our Sunday morning Fall Series events.

Info Session

Each season we offer a free info session for our youth programs 1 or 2 weeks prior to the start of our programs. These sessions are designed to provide information and a ‘try-it’ session for our youth programs but there will be an opportunity to ask questions about the Basics and Beyond program as well.

We currently have the following info sessions scheduled:

Wesley Clover Parks, Tuesday March 27th. See details here

Coming Prepared

Please bring the following with you to the program each week:

Running shoes
A good pair of shoes that you can walk or run outdoors in for an hour.
Weather appropriate clothing for being in the woods
This is a rain or shine program so dress appropriately.
Water bottle
Having a water bottle with you or in the car for afterwards is always a good idea.
A basic precaution for all Orienteering Ottawa events and programs.
Headlamp (fall only)
Your headlamp should be at least 120 lumens.


The Basics and Beyond program is led by one or two experienced orienteering instructors depending on the size of the group. We aim for one instructor for 8-12 participants.

Each Basics and Beyond session is designed to have the following:

  • Lots of learning
  • A specific technical focus each week which builds on the skills taught earlier in the program
  • A chance to practice the skills being taught
  • A chance to discuss and compare how the exercise went afterwards

Weather and Safety Policies

All of our programs are rain or shine (or snow or wind…). Only in the event of dangerous conditions arising due to an electrical storm or other extreme weather will a program session be canceled, in which case we will send out an e-mail two hours prior to the start of the session.

There are a few risks to be aware of when playing and spending time wild areas in the outdoors. The major ones in the Ottawa area are ticks, poison ivy, and wild parsnip. We will teach about basic safety precautions in the first week of the program. It’s also a good idea to read through our safety page (page de sécurité et éthique).

To see the club’s full weather policy as well as our program behaviour and safety policies check out our policy manual.


All official communication for this program will be done via e-mail. We will be adding you to an e-mail list after you sign up. Please do not unsubscribe from this list as you will no longer receive important notification about the program. We clear the list at the end of each season before adding the next season’s participants to the list.

You will receive an e-mail confirmation when you register.

You can also expect to receive e-mails 3 weeks and 1 week before the start of the program with pre-season program information and details.

Note that program e-mails are sent from a mail list server and some email systems will sort our e-mails (at least at first) into junk or spam boxes - please check for these e-mails there if you don't get them when you expect to.

Registration Info

Note: Due to low registration numbers we are not running our Basics and Beyond program this fall.

Register now for the fall season

Cost: $125 per participant (includes a $5.60 online registration fee)

This cost includes:

  • 8 one hour program sessions over 8 weeks
  • An annual Orienteering membership ($20 value) which provides you with discounts on club events
  • Individual entry to one of our Sunday morning Fall Series events ($9 value for members)

Additional notes:

  • All participants (parents) will need to agree to a standard waiver declaration when they register.
  • If you are already a member of Orienteering Ottawa, a discount of $20 will be applied to your registration fee.

Any questions can be directed to our Program Coordinator.