Trail Orienteering Basics

What is Trail Orienteering?
The Basics for Beginners

Trail orienteering was originally developed as a way to provide orienteering opportunities to the disabled. International competition in trail orienteering has both Paralympic and Open classes.

How it works
Each control site has a cluster of controls and a viewing station, which is along a trail. You stop at the viewing station and look at the controls. Your goal is to figure out which of the controls you are looking at is the one that is the center of the circle on your map.
You show your answer by punching a lettered box on a control card. As you look at the controls from the viewing station, you label them in your mind from left to right – A, B, C, etc. You punch the letter that corresponds to the control that you think is in the center of the circle, based on the map and the control description. If you don’t think any of the controls are correct, then you punch a box labeled “none.”

Reading the control descriptions
• First Column (A-D) - This tells you how many controls you should be seeing in the cluster. Make sure you are seeing all of them or you may end up labeling them wrong.
• Second Column (#) – This is which control circle you are looking at.
• Columns 3-7 – This holds the standard control description for the flag as it would for standard orienteering
• Last Column (arrow) – This arrow tells you approximately what direction it is from the viewing station to the control cluster. It helps you to figure out what trail you need to be on to find the viewing station.

Important Rules:
1) You must stay on trails, roads, or paved areas. You are not allowed to leave the trails to get closer to the controls, but you may move around on the trails as much as you want to try to figure out your answer.
2) Regardless of where you go to figure out your answer, the A, B, C, etc. designations are decided from the viewing station.
3) Don’t forget that “none” is a valid answer. This will only be the answer if you can clearly determine that there is no control in the center of the circle.

Trail-O Strategies
1) The viewing station is not on the map. Be sure you are careful about knowing where you are viewing from. This information can sometimes be important to solving the problem.
2) Don’t be afraid to move around to solve the problem. The viewing station is not necessarily the best place to figure it out. Just remember you must stay on trails.
3) Be sure you go back to the viewing station to make sure you have labeled the controls correctly before punching your answer.
4) Solutions with explanations are available after everyone has started.

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Required Waiver

Minors attending without a parent must bring this required waiver filled out by their parent for each event or they will NOT be allowed to participate. Adults and parents with children may sign the waiver at the event.

About LAOC

LAOC is a volunteer-run club promoting map navigation and enjoyment of the outdoors. Learn more here!


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