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Ten Elements of Orienteering - Relocation

posted 7 Jun 2014, 03:40 by Elaine Sheridan
We hope last weeks video inspired your route choices between controls in the Regional Park, Ballincollig on Tuesday evening. This week's Ten elements of orienteering video focuses on - Relocation.

This is the fourth in a series of short training videos produced by the Irish Orienteering Association to help you learn the skills needed to orienteer. This video explains relocation. We hope you enjoy the video and if you have any orienteering questions be sure to seek assistance from any of our experienced club members at our events. You will find them at registration and at the start.

Relocation is the technique for getting back on track if you lose map contact. It is perhaps the most important skill in orienteering as being able to find out where you are after having got lost will minimise the time wasted.

Remember the common mistakes:
  • 90/180 degree errors
  • Over running
  • Parallel errors
  • Dragged off course by undergrowth, contours, other runners 
If this happens:

1. STOP! - Set about calmly working out where you are.

2. LOOK AROUND - for prominent features likely to be on the map, (contours, buildings, dense forest etc)

3. ORIENTATE THE MAP - check your compass and orientate your map in your direction of travel.


  • What is the area like – runnable or slow, flat or sloping or hilly, etc. to get an idea whereabouts you might be.
  • Can you see anything big, obvious, or distinctive to help find your location on the map.
  • If this gives you an idea where you may be but you’re not sure, go and check it out, see if other things fit, and remember you can see much better out in the open or from a hill.


If you cannot quickly locate yourself, it is best to head off for a prominent feature nearby and relocate there. One useful technique is to stand on a high point to look around. 

Having put yourself back on course, put the mistake behind you. Do not rush to make up time.