Below is an annotated list of publications on learning (and teaching) orienteering. The first two are available from Orienteering USA, c/o Mike Minium, 6797 Stillwell-Beckett Rd., Oxford, OH 45056-8870 (mikeminium [at] aol [dot] com; (513) 523-9279). Visit the web sites of the orienteering equipment vendors for availability on the others, as some may be out of print.
For general articles about orienteering, see our Media > Articles page. Also included below are studies regarding orienteering and its effect on learning.
Note: Don't forget our own Orienteering North America magazine! Back issues are available and make great training aids.
Annotations below are generally from the publishers. We would like to include input from people who have taught orienteering using these publications. If you have used a book to teach orienteering and would like to add your comments, contact Donna Fluegel (fluegeldonna [at] sbcglobal [dot] net). If we are missing a book/resource or you see an error in the list, also contact Donna.
Coaching Orienteering. Orienteering Coach Certification Manual. Mary Jo Childs. US Orienteering Federation, 1991. – An excellent guide for instructors and coaches. Covering all aspects of both teaching and coaching orienteering. Complete with objectives, skills, levels, materials, preparation, and methods. Includes dozens of exercises for orienteers at all levels. To order, send name, address, and $15.00 ($12 + $3.00 shipping and handling) to Mike Minium at the address above. NOTE: Prices increase in January 2016; see below.
Price list for Coaching Orienteering (effective on orders received on or after 1 January 2016)
Generally, an invoice will be sent with order, terms: net 30 days.
Orienteering and Map Games for Teachers. Meg Garrett. United States Orienteering Federation, 1996. — Orienteering is presented here as the process of using a map to find or understand something. The material presents a series of games and activities for use with a student group, and is arranged in two basic age/grade categories: pre-school/primary and secondary. To order a single copy, send name, address, and a check in U.S. currency ($12.00 + $3.00 shipping and handling in U.S.; shipping to Canada is $6.00/1 book, $10/2 books, US$) to Mike Minium at the address above. Contact Mike for quantity pricing. NOTE: Prices increase in January 2016; see below.
Price list for Orienteering and Map Games for Teachers (effective on orders received on or after 1 January 2016)
Generally, an invoice will be sent with order, terms: net 30 days.
Advanced O-Technique Training Answer Book. Rebard. Norway, 1988 – The sixteen worksheets, containing 94 real map parts printed in 6 colors, enable you to teach O techniques or learn them through self-testing.
Armchair Orienteering I (A Practical Guide to Reading Orienteering Maps) and II (A Practical Guide to route Planning). Winnie Stott. Canadian Orienteering Federation, 1984. – Two practical guides designed to help the novice orienteer improve map-reading skills. In a worksheet format, the orienteer can do the exercises at home and alone and have the answers to check the work. Skills such as contours, map symbols, route choice, and map details are all covered.
Basic Essentials Map & Compass, 2nd edition. Cliff Jacobson. Globe Pequot, 1999. – This book is a complete course on using maps and compasses to navigate in the outdoors. It explains how to select and use a compass, read maps and map contours, and navigate using aiming off, declination, and triangulation. Includes diagrams, map symbols, and a glossary. Not strictly orienteering related. (ISBN 0762704810; 3rd edition available in Jan 2007: ISBN 0762740167)
Be Expert with Map&Compass, 3rd Edition. Björn Kjellström. Wiley, 2009. – Thorough presentation of map and compass skills for the orienteer and the general topographical map user. Includes many games and exercises. The 3rd edition, revised by Kjellström's daughter, includes the strengths of the original content while addressing some of the latest technologies, resources, and challenges. (ISBN: 978-0-470-40765-3)
Beyond Armchair Orienteering. Winnie Stott. Canadian Orienteering Federation. – A variety of orienteering exercises which can be used in the classroom or the comfort of your favorite chair.
The Complete Orienteering Manual. Peter Palmer. England: Crowood Press, 1998. – This illustrated manual looks at what constitutes successful orienteering and suggests ways for people of all ages and abilities to improve their performance. Palmer, a British Orienteering Federation senior coach, is author of half the chapters. All the course maps and resource information are British. (ISBN 1861260954)
Creative Outdoor Work with Young People. Alan Smith. Scotland: Russell House Publishing, 1994. – Great games and activities useable in a variety of outdoor situations: camping, hiking, orienteering, canoeing, etc. Hilarious pictures! (ISBN 1898924252)
Discovering Orienteering: Skills, Techniques, and Activities. Charles Ferguson and Robert Turbyfill: Human Kinetics, 2013. – Engaging the mind and toning the body, orienteering offers a mind-body workout that builds confidence, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for the natural environment. Written in an engaging manner, Discovering Orienteering: Skills, Techniques, and Activities offers a systematic approach to learning, teaching, and coaching orienteering. Discovering Orienteering presents the basic skills and techniques of the sport for beginners. It also functions as a review for advanced orienteers. (ISBN: 0736084231)
Get Fit for Orienteering. Steve Bird. England: Nonington Press, 1996. – A book on the orienteer's special fitness needs (strength, speed, stamina, and agility) and how to achieve them. (ISBN: 0952735105)
Learn Orienteering (a pamphlet). Silva Orienteering Services. -– Sheet of 14 panels of orienteering information, including how to read maps, the parts of the compass, tips on orienteering, etc.
Learn Orienteering. Leif Rebard. Norway, 1990. – 12 full-color worksheets intended to acquaint the beginner with maps and how to orienteer using them. Very good for elementary school ages. Answer Book and Instructor's Guide also available.
Lesson Plans – Orienteering – 6th Edition. Orienteering Service of Australia, 2006. – These lesson plans of orienteering games and exercises have been compiled by teachers, instructors, and coaches of the Swedish Orienteering Federation to provide a range of activities suitable for the teaching and instruction of orienteering in schools and for special training/coaching sessions for junior orienteers of varying standards. Each lesson includes objectives, preparations, and methods suitable for 7-16 year olds.
M.A.P.S. Book 2 – Land of the Blue Lights. Bonnie and Robbie Risby. USA, 1994. – An integrated approach to geography for young people (grades 3-4), each book takes learners to a special location where they meet the residents via captivating stories. Related reproducible worksheets after each story teach and reinforce map reading skills. Each book has a full-color poster of the book's location, plus ideas for additional hands-on activities.
Mapping Penny's' World. Loreen Leedy. Owlet Paperbacks, 2003. – Suitable for grades 1-3, this book is an introduction to mapping your world that focuses on a child and her world, including her room, house, neighborhood and school. (ISBN 0805072624)
Map Mania: Discovering Where You Are&Getting to Where You Aren't. Michael A. DiSpezio. Sterling, 2003. – Suitable for grades 3-5, this book is a very colorful and playful introduction to maps and their uses. (ISBN 1402705999)
Mapmaking with Children: Sense of Place Education for the Elementary Years. David Sobel. Heinemann, 1998. – All elementary school educators (and homeschoolers) can benefit from the approach taken in this book to helping children develop map-making skills; this book also can be used in combination with environmental awareness programs. (ISBN 0325000425)
O ABCs. Doria Peltz. SM&L Berman Publishing Co., 1992. – A coloring book using orienteering as the theme of each letter of the alphabet. Contact Berman's Orienteering Supply: 617-868-7416, email@example.com.
Orienteering (Essential Guides). Ian Bratt. Stackpole Books, 2002. – Perfect for the beginner, this book covers every basic detail; from what to wear to how to read a map, use a compass, and cope with different terrain. Covered are the four different types of orienteering recognized by the International Orienteering Federation: foot, ski, mountain bike, and trail orienteering. The book is comprehensively illustrated with maps, map symbols, and full-color photographs. (ISBN 0811720543)
Orienteering (Outdoor Pursuits Series). Tom Renfrew. Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc., 1997. – Author Tom Renfrew, an orienteer and instructor in the U.K. for more than 20 years, is an enthusiastic and insightful teacher. He covers basic map reading, compass skills, running a course, and what to do if lost. This richly illustrated book features 70 colorful maps, drawings, and photos that show beginners how to get started and that help more experienced orienteers to assess and hone their skills. (ISBN 0873228855)
Orienteering: a Way of Learning Outdoor Navigation. Peter Wilson. New Zealand, 1991-94. – This is a good text for beginner orienteers, either youth or adult. Good reading for teachers who are unfamiliar with the sport.
Orienteering: Skills&Strategies. Ron Lowry and Ken Sidney. Canada, 2000. – Designed for recreational and serious orienteers. Shows what is required to perform well, how to learn and practice skills and strategies, and important competition tips. Lots of pictures, diagrams, and maps to illustrate techniques. (ISBN 0920285015)
Orienteering: the Skills of the Game. Carol McNeill. First published 1989 by The Crowood Press, Ltd., Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 2HR, UK. Orienteering is a test of practical navigation, intelligence, and physical endurance. This book is a guide to its various forms and aspects, covering basic map work to advanced racing techniques, training, coaching, and organizing an event. (ISBN 1852239905)
Orienteering, the Sport of Navigating with Map and Compass. Steve Boga. Stackpole Books, 1997. – A comprehensive introductory book including the history of O', how to get started, how to improve skills, fitness and training, and lots on teaching youngsters. Contains references to BAOC. (ISBN 0811728706)
Orienteering Handbook. Anne Anthony. North Vancouver: Hancock House Publishers Ltd., 1980. – A general guide to teaching orienteering with sample lessons, map-making, event procedures, and map and compass work. (ISBN 0888390475)
Orienteering in the National Curriculum (Key stages 1 and 2). Carol McNeill, Jim Martland, and Peter Palmer. Britain, 1992. – Shows how orienteering can be used with pre-teens to deliver attainment targets in geography, physical education, and math. Explains what orienteering is and includes 20 lesson plans. (ISBN 1851373993)
Orienteering in the National Curriculum (Key stages 3&4). Peter Palmer&Carol McNeill. Britain, 1993. – Similar to above, but structured for early teen through teen years. (ISBN 1851370102)
Orienteering Instructor's Resource Manual. Wilf Wedmann, Jennifer Fenton, Bryna Kopelow. British Columbia, 1990. – This is part of a series of books from Canada’s Premier Sport Awards Program. Although it focuses on the program, it has a wonderful selection of activities for the teacher. All include objectives, materials, preparation, and methods.
Orienteering Made Simple: an Instructional Handbook. Nancy Kelly. AuthorHouse, 2004. – The purpose of this book is to help teachers begin an orienteering program using a simple step by step approach. The book is divided into 3 sections. The first section includes simple fun activities that are done indoors to get the students familiar with simple map reading skills. Section two involves outdoor map reading skills and encourages more advanced map reading skills as well as recognizing map symbols. The last section involves more advanced map reading skills in order to recognize landforms, contours and to make smart route choices. This book takes away the anxiety behind trying something new by doing all the preparation work for the education or group leader. (ISBN 1414008929)
Preparing a Simple Orienteering Map. James Gilchrist. Willowdale, Ontario: Canadian Orienteering Services, 1974. – This 8-page publication describes how to prepare a sketch map including compass triangulation and how to prepare a topographic map to use as a base map for producing maps. A great resource for the basics.
Route Finding: Navigating with Map&Compass. A Falcon Guide. Gregory Crouch. 1999. The Globe Pequot Press, P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437. – Explains step-by-step the map reading, land navigation, and route finding techniques crucial to success and safety in the outdoors. (ISBN 156044820)
Simple Maps for Orienteering. International Orienteering Federation. Sweden, 1990. – Booklet on producing basic black and white maps. Learn how to make maps of all sizes. Great for teachers.
Start Orienteering Series. Carol McNeill and Tom Renfrew. England: Harveys, 1989. – This series consists of a set of graded books designed to assist those who teach young children to become ‘map literate’ through skills and activities that are part of the sport of orienteering. The first four books, covering the age range 7-12 years, provide a structured program of activities and lessons. Book 5 suggests how the sport maybe used to stimulate work across the curriculum. Book 6 consists of many ideas and examples of games designed to assist learning and testing of map reading skills. All books include objectives, vocabulary, equipment, and methods.
Tackle Orienteering. John Disley. Great Britain: Stanley Paul&Co. Ltd., 1982. – An easy-to-follow book which describes with use of examples and illustrations the basics of orienteering. (ISBN 0091450314)
Teaching Orienteering, 2nd Edition. Carol McNeill, Jean Cory-Wright, and Tom Renfrew. Britain: Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc., 1998. – A more advanced, comprehensive text, going from introduction to advanced competitive techniques. Many games and other teaching aids. Numerous color illustrations. Each lesson includes objectives, preparations, and methods. (ISBN 0880118040)
Teaching Orienteering: A Handbook for Teachers. Instructors and Coaches. Carol McNeill, J. Ramsden, T. Renfrew. England: Harveys, 1987. – This book covers a multitude of lessons, games and training activities for both elementary and secondary students. Most exercises rely on access to good orienteering maps.
Teaching Orienteering. Johnson Worldwide Associates. USA, 1991. – Concise instructional manual, in outline form, for teaching orienteering skills. Written by an experienced teacher, it presents maps, facts, and diagrams in an easy-to-follow format. Also, each objective has page references to Björn Kjellström's "Be Expert with Map&Compass."
Trail Orienteering. Anne Braggins, chair of IOF Trail-O Committee. Scotland, 1993. – Shows how those not able-bodied (even temporarily) can take part in orienteering that requires map-reading skills, not physical prowess.
Your Way with Map and Compass – Orienteering. John Disley. Canada, 1971. – This workbook is a useful tool for learning basic map, compass, and orienteering skills. Many diagrams, activities, and a color map with overlays supplement the text, which is intended primarily for 9-12 year-olds. Teacher's Edition (61 pp) and Student's Edition (32 pp) available. (ASIN# B0007AHMB8)