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 2019 (April - May)

Locations Times Dates Venue 1 Venue 2 Events and Competitions
Ottawa East Monday evenings, 6:30 April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27 Cairine Wilson SS (975 Orléans Blvd)*
(April  8 - 29)
Blair Rd boat ramp (end of Massey Ln)*
(May 6 - 27)
Free individual pass entry usable at any one of our Sunday morning Spring Series events
Ottawa West Tuesday evenings, 6:30 April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28 Wesley Clover Parks Campground (April 9 - 30)
Meet at the lower campground parking lot just east of the top of the hill. There is an outhouse on site that we can use.
Arnold Park (May 7 - May 28)
Meeting off Arnold Dr near Moodie Dr in Bells Corners.
Free individual pass entry usable at any one of our Sunday morning Spring Series events

Fall 2019 (September - October)

Locations Times Dates Venue 1 Venue 2 Events and Competitions
Ottawa West Tuesday evenings, 6:30 Sept 10, 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Greenbelt Parking lot P4 on Timm Dr*

Britannia Park* Free individual pass entry usable at any one of our Sunday morning Fall Series events

Unfortunately we are not able to offer a program in the East end of Ottawa in the fall of 2019. We are currently planning on running an east end program in the spring of 2020 again. If you have any questions please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*We are still confirming permits for the fall season. Bell Centennial Arena in Bells Corners is our backup area. 

Info Sessions

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 for our youth programs as well as our Basics and Beyond program.

For the 2019 fall season we have one info session organized:

Tuesday, Sept 23, 6:30-7:30 at Britannia Park

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


Cost: $130 per participant (includes a $6.40 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 usable at any one of our Sunday morning Spring or Fall Series events ($9 value for members)

Additional notes:

  • All participants will need to agree to a standard waiver declaration at the first program evening.
  • 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..