SMOC is open to every orienteerer from first timers to elites! It is a welcoming community, so please come along and feel free to ask questions and learn about the sport. You will see our members treating events are as family adventure, pushing the baby stroller, to a tough wilderness running race. It is your adventure.

Feel free to message us on Facebook if you have any questions!


Orienteering is a sport based on the use of a map and compass. Using the map and compass, you must find the checkpoints in the order indicated on the map. The winner is the person who successfully visits each checkpoint on the course in the shortest time.

At a standard orienteering event there are usually four or five courses, color-named as follows:

  • White (beginner) - checkpoints on trails, takes about 45 minutes to walk
  • Yellow (novice) - checkpoints near trails, takes about an hour to walk without mistakes
  • Orange (intermediate) - checkpoints on larger off-trail features, takes 75-90 minutes to run, two hours to walk
  • Green (shorter advanced) - checkpoints in detailed, complicated terrain, takes two to three hours to walk, one to two hours to run
  • Red (longer advanced) - a longer version of green: detailed, complicated terrain, three hours to walk with a mistake or three, 90-250 minutes to run with mistakes

Score-O or Rogaining

Score-O/Rogaining is similar to orienteering except that the checkpoints are not ordered and may be optional. Using only the map and compass, how many “checkpoints” can you, or you and your team find within the time limit? The checkpoints vary in navigational difficulty and point value - it’s up to you to decide which you want to find. Each finisher earns a score determined by a formula based on the number of flags found, the point value of the checkpoints, and the time it takes to finish. The meet director determines the actual formula used. The winner of the event is the one with the highest score.

Night-O events are similar to Score-O events but begin at dusk, usually on the evening of a full moon. Night-O events usually have a mass start (everyone starts at the same time). Be sure to arrive early to register and mark your map. Bring flashlights and/or a headlamp.

Meet Information

All events hosted by SMOC are held rain or shine (or snow!).

Unless otherwise noted, events start at 12 noon, with the last start time at 2 pm. We begin picking up checkpoints at 3 pm. You have three hours to complete your course, so you may want to begin closer to noon. To avoid an unnecessary search and rescue operation, you must check in with the Meet Director after you come back even if you did not finish your course!

Directions to the meet location are linked to the entries in the schedule. Orienteering signs (orange and white square with an arrow) along the roads will direct you to the registration area.

Free instruction is available at all meets, just indicate this when you register when you sign in. You may rent a compasses for a nominal fee with a deposit of your driver's license or car keys.

Detailed topographic maps are available at each meet.


To participate in a SMOC orienteering event you need the following gear:

  • map (provided at start)
  • compass (available for hire)
  • trekking or running shoes

Depending on the level of difficulty you may also want:

  • water
  • arm and leg protection, e.g. running tights, gaitors, etc. (if you're competing a yellow course or above)
  • change of clothes and a towel for after the race (if you're competing a green or above)
  • plastic bag for shoes (if it's muddy or if you're competing a green or above)