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The Presenter runs through the forest, looking at her map. She slows down, looks around then finally comes to a stop. Turning around slowly, she scratches her head.


I’m competing in my second orienteering event, on a course that requires moderate navigational skills. I’ve enlisted the help of [name], one of Australia’s top orienteers, to help me choose the best route choice, but I am beginning to suspect that I might have just come unstuck.

CLOSE UP of Presenter, peering at the map.

PRESENTER (to camera)

I’m on my way from control number three (points to control on map) to control number four. I thought I left the track at this bend here (points to the bend) and now I’m at the place I thought my control should be. But there’s nothing here.

PAN around the forest, where there is indeed no control to be seen.

PRESENTER (to camera)

I think I’m going to need a little help on this one.

She clicks her fingers, and the Novice Instructor (from scripts 1, 4) appears (JUMP CUT)


Need some help?


I do, as a matter of fact. I’ve just come to where I think my control ought to be, and it’s not here. And if it’s not here, I haven’t got a clue where I am.


Can I have a look at your map?



She shows the Instructor her map, and the two of them study it, looking around, pointing etc. (no sound)

SCREEN SHOT of a map and route, with a route choice line going off on a tangent half way to the next control.


Working out where you are after you’ve made a navigational mistake is called relocating. There are many different ways to relocate. For example, you can stay where you are -

(line stops, ‘blinks’ in one place)

While you try and recognize some features in the surrounding forest that you can match with the symbols on the map. Or, you can go back to the last place where you definitely knew you were -

(line goes back to track bend, or other major feature)

Or you can run around like a headless chook.

(line goes around and around in circles)

But that’s not really recommended.

Back on Presenter and Instructor.


What if I’m really, really lost?

INSTRUCTOR (ad-lib…)

If you’re so lost that you are pretty sure you can’t relocate, you should take a safety bearing. This means heading in a set direction – such as due north – until you hit something major, like a road. The direction of the safety bearing will usually be written on your map, or it may be on the control description.


Right. Well I don’t think I’m totally lost. But I’m still not sure where I am. Where do you think we are?


Where do you think we are?

PRESENTER (laughs)

Well, I thought I left the track at this bend here, and followed my compass a hundred meters into the forest. My control is on a boulder [or whatever] but there’s not one here!

INSTRUCTOR (looking around)

So what can you see here?


Well I can see what looks like a fence corner [or whatever] over there.


And can you see something like that on the map?

CLOSE UP of map.


I can see one here. But that’s further back towards my last control.


So what do you think might have happened?


Hmm. Well I was looking for a track bend. Maybe I came off one track bend too early.


Shall we go back and have a look?

They head back out towards the track.

SCREEN SHOT of GPS footage from an elite race showing big navigational error/s.


Navigational mistakes happen to everyone – even top orienteers. Obviously, the best thing you can do is avoid a mistake altogether. But the next best thing you can do is relocate quickly.

Back to Presenter and Instructor, who are now standing on the track.


Oh I see! So if I just go along this track another hundred meters, there’ll be another bend, and that’s the one I have to go in from. Great!

She starts to run off down the track.

PRESENTER (back over her shoulder)



You’re welcome.

S/he clicks fingers and is gone.

CUT TO Presenter following her map carefully in the forest. She looks up and sees the control.



She jogs over and punches the control. Stops, looks at her map…as another orienteer runs in, punches the control, and runs off again. The presenter watches her go, looks down at her map and sets off in the same direction.


Hmm. Now that I’ve learned to relocate, maybe it’s time l learned a thing or two about moving a little more quickly through the controls.