Susquehanna Valley Orienteering
Beginners' Guide

Orienteering is a sport that combines hiking or running with map reading. It is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by persons of all ages and fitness levels.

Courses are color-coded by level of expertise and approximate length.

White: beginner, 2 - 3 km
Yellow: advanced beginner, 3 - 5 km
Orange: intermediate, 4.5 - 7 km
Brown: short advanced, 3 - 4.5 km
Green: medium advanced 4.5 - 7 km
Red: long advanced 6 - 10 km
Blue: longest advanced 8 - 14 km

You may register and start anytime between 10am and 1pm the day of the event. Compasses are available to rent or you may bring your own. You should bring a whistle for emergency use only and a watch to keep track of time.

You should wear long pants and sneakers or sturdy shoes as much of the terrain may be rough. In cooler weather, layers of shirts are advised so you can remove them as you warm up. You will probably want a change of clothes for after the event since you may get dirty, sweaty, muddy, or wet.

At least one location on the course always has water available, and water and snacks are available at the finish. In hot weather or if you anticipate being out for a long time, you may want to carry additional water of your own.

For more information on SVO, visit the contacts and membership pages.

Click here for a step-by-step account on how to enter your first orienteering event!