The orientation is the set of systems that allows us to recognize at all times:

Where the cardinal points are situated.
The place where we are.
The direction to take to reach the desired location.


Orienteering means knowing which way we are going by knowing where we are at the moment. Orienteering is quite easy to learn and really useful when out hiking in the mountains or doing a number of other activities. Nobody should go out into the country without being familiar with the orienteering techniques.

Orienteering races are a sports discipline that consists of completing a course by passing by various control points indicated on a map, with the aid of a compass.

The CONTROL POINTS are marked on the map by circles, connected lines and numbered in the order they are to be visited. This control points are marked in the terrain by WHITE AND ORANGE FLAGS.

Competitors receive a CONTROL DESCRIPTION SHEET or CLUE SHEET which gives a precise description of the feature and the location of the flag.

Each competitor is required to carry a CONTROL CARD, and to present it at the start and hand it at the finish of the race. The control card is marked by some means at each control point to show that the competitor has completed the course correctly. Most events now use electronic punching, although cards and needle punches are still widely used.


The map is the graphic representation, drawn to scale, of the Earth’s surface. It is valuable item, which helps us get our bearings and know we are, identify the lie of the land, or calculate the distance between different places.


There are several different types of map. To go hiking we use topographic maps. On every map there is a key or information in the margin, which explains the conventional signs and colours use, the scale…


The compass is a magnetic needle, placed on a baseplate, one tip of which always points to the Earth’s magnetic north. To give it a real use, you also need to have a map.

The compass enables the map to be oriented accurately using the Earth’s magnetic north as a reference, but it is mainly used to measure bearings.

A bearing is an angle formed by a given direction and magnetic north. The most important bearings coincide with the four cardinal points and their intermediate points, which are indicated in degrees, from 0ª to 360ª.


The main parts of a compass are:

1.  Scales/Rulers: used to measure distance on the map.

  1. Direction of travel arrow: this is an arrow that is marked on the It guides the direction of travel while following a bearing in the field.
  1. Orienting arrow: the orienting arrow is marked on the bottom of the housing and rotates with the It allows the baseplate to be aligned relative to the magnetic needle. To take a basic field bearing, the housing is turned until the orienting arrow and the magnetic needle are aligned. These two elements are then kept in alignment while following the bearing.
  1. Declination scale: declination is the difference, in angle of degree, between magnetic north and true
  1. Dial with degrees (part of housing): the dial is part of the housing and is marked in two degree When the dial is rotated, the orienting arrow, declination scale and orienting lines also rotate as part of the housing.
  1. Index line: this is where a bearing is read.
  1. Magnetic needle: a magnetic strip of metal that is on a pivot in the centre of the The north end is usually painted red, while the other end is often white or black.
  1. Orienting lines: these lines are marked on the bottom of the housing and rotate with it, the same as the orienting They are also often called meridian lines and north-south lines. When taking a bearing from a map, the orienting lines are aligned with the north-south map grid lines.
  1. Rotating housing: a liquid filled capsule that contains the magnetic Orienting lines are etched on the bottom of the housing, and the dial is fixed to the top of the housing. The liquid helps dampen the needle movement, making it easier to get a more accurate reading.
  1. Base plate: the base plate is used to taking bearing on a The edge is placed between two points and the orienting lines and dial act as a protractor to give the bearing. The base plate is marked with scales, direction of travel arrow and index line.


– ORIENTEERING (= deporte de orientación)
– CARDINAL POINTS (= puntos cardinales)
– WAXING CRESCENT MOON (= cuarto creciente)
– WANING CRESCENT MOON (= cuarto menguante)
– MOSS (= musgo)
– SCALE (= escala)
– CONTOURS (= curvas de nivel)
– STEEPNESS (= lo escarpado)
– GENTLE (= poco pronunciado)
– STEEP (= escarpado)
– STREAM (= riachuelo, arroyo)
– DITCH (= acequia)
– POND (= estanque)
– MARSH (= pantano)
– BEARING (= rumbo)
– TO ETCH (= grabar)
– TO DAMPEN (= humedecer)
– TAKING A BEARING (= tomar un rumbo)
– FINDING A BEARING (= buscar un rumbo)