Adult Learn-to: Basics and Beyond

Our Basics & Beyond program is an 8-week course designed for adults and teens over 16. In this program, we start by teaching you the basics of orienteering and then we progress to guiding you through the skills needed to comfortably complete novice and intermediate orienteering courses. This is a skills course, in which we emphasize the development of basic orienteering skills rather than physical fitness. In other words, during the program you may run or walk at whatever speed you wish!

Skills taught: Over the course of the 8 weeks we will go over the following skills:

  • Basic map-reading and compass skills
  • Understanding standard orienteering maps
  • Route choice and navigation systems
  • Navigation using surrounding terrain features

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Topics that we do not cover: Please note that this program focuses on the essential navigation skills involved in orienteering. This program does not teach declination, triangulation, or other similar navigation skills (often used in adventure racing). You will learn essential compass skills in this program, however, we focus on the use of both map reading and compass use for navigation. For those wanting to develop a strong understanding of navigation skills not directly involved in orienteering, we encourage you to explore these topics with other organizations dedicated to these specific skills.

Who can take part? While we also have a Learn-To program for youth ages 6 and up, teenagers over 16 who would prefer to learn in an adult environment are also welcome in this Basics and Beyond program.

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

Times and Locations


Locations Times Dates Venue 1 Venue 2
Ottawa West



 April 16, 23, 30

 May 7,14,21,28

 Britannia Park

(April 16-30)


 All Saint's High School

(May 7-28)


Ottawa East



 April 17, 24, May 1

May 8, 15, 22, 29


 Ski Hill Park

(April 17-May 1)


 Greens Creek

(May 8-May 29)


Info Sessions

There will be information sessions where we will discuss how our programs work and offer you a chance to ask any questions you might have, and even try a few of our activities.

For the 2024 spring season we have two info sessions organized. Both sessions will begin at 6:30pm.

Registration information


Adult registration is $135 + HST and includes:

  • 2024 Orienteering Ottawa adult membership (value $25)
  • 8 weeks of programming and coaching
  • Pass to our first Summer Solstice event June 4 (week 8 of program) ($14 value).


See our refund policy in our policy manual.

Any questions can be directed to our Program Coordinator

Coming Prepared

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

  • Running shoes
  • Long pants
  • Clothing that can get dirty
  • Water bottle
  • Safety whistle
  • A sense of adventure! 

Coaching and Lessons

Each Basic & Beyond group will be led by 1-2 experienced orienteering instructors. Each session will consist of a combination of instructions from your instructor, independent learning, and a chance to practice new skills at hand.

Weather and Safety Policies

Orienteering is a rain-or-shine sport. Only in the event of dangerous conditions (e.g. lightning, frostbite warning) will a program session be canceled, in which case we will send out an email no less than 2 hours prior to the start of the session.

We do not guarantee refunds for cancelled sessions. If we cancel more than one session in the season we will look at how we can compensate families for the missed sessions.

Ticks, poison ivy, and wild parsnip are common wildlife risks found in the Ottawa area. 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 email. We will be adding participants to an email list after they sign up. Please do not unsubscribe from this list as you will no longer receive important notifications 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 email confirmation when you register. You can also expect to receive emails 1.5-2 weeks prior to the start of the program and also a few days before your first session with pre-season program information and details.

Note that program emails are sent from the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Some email systems will sort our emails into junk or spam boxes. Please check for our emails there if you do not get them when you expect to, and add this address as a contact.

Upon registration, the program coordinator will provide you with a phone number for urgent inquiries during program hours for faster communication.