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Orienteering is a form of navigating which often involves picking up tags along the way and is carried out on a pre-planned course. It can be undertaken walking, running or jogging and sometimes teams compete against each other to see who can get around the course the fastest. Orienteering is a fun way to get to know an area, complete a task in the great outdoors and learn new skills. Courses Most people who go orienteering attend a place where the course has already been set up and these are categorised by colour in order to let people know how difficult they are. Beginners should start off on either white or yellow courses as these are the easiest and especially good if you are hoping to get children involved in the activity. Those who can read a compass should progress onto orange and light green courses which start to get a little bit more complicated. They bring basic navigational skills into the activity to a greater degree and are a good way to improve these skills. Once you have learnt the skills of orienteering and are becoming more confident it is time to start moving onto the green and blue courses. They are harder and more varied and also often longer in length with more demands put on the participant in terms of their physical strength. Only the most experienced of orienteering enthusiasts should undertake a brown or black course as they are designed to be much more difficult, but something to aim for eventually. How orienteering maps differ from ordinary maps An orienteering map is an essential in order to carry out the activity successfully and they have some key differences from standard maps. They are created to a much bigger scale making them easier to read, which is good if you are doing the course as a competition or with a certain time frame in mind. Instead of being drawn to true north orienteering maps make use of magnetic north and are printed in five colours. These colours make it easy to identify specific features with black standing for most man-made features, brown for hills, blue for water, white and green for woodland and yellow for grassy areas. Areas with orienteering courses Harden Moor Knowlands Wood Parc Bryn Bach Bramhall Park Clothing for orienteering As you are exploring the great outdoors, good quality walking clothing is recommended. A good pair of walking boots (waterproof) will be your feet dry and comfortable. Have a look at the outdoor gear available in our online outdoor clothing store.