This spring (2019) Foothills Orienteering is offering a coach-led series of training sessions on Sunday mornings on our challenging forest maps for intermediate and advanced orienteers. Good news! Finley has agreed to coach Forest Training again.

Schedule and Locations

The Forest Orienteering Training program is a series consisting of 4 training sessions in the spring and two sessions in the summer. The program is scheduled to accommodate other orienteering events (Rumsey, OART, Sage Stomp and the EOOC Training Camp) so that you can put your honed skills to good effect at those events. The schedule below is tentative.

Coaching will be provided at all sessions with instructions before hand and a debrief afterwards.

Date Location (tbc) Training Exercise / Focus Description of session Comments
April 28 Quarry Lake

May 5 Elbow Bluffs
May 24 - 26
near Edmonton Training Camp with EOOC
June 9
Sulphur Springs
June 23 Sandy McNabb
August 11 TBA

August 25 TBA

All locations are pending approval from Alberta Parks.

Session Format

Each training session would consist of 15 minutes of instruction at 10:00 prior to sending participants out onto the course for the training exercise. After the exercise the coach will touch base with as many participants as possible to see how it went and provide them with specific comments and feedback based on their comments. Sessions will last 2 hours so participants have sufficient time to run the course and still meet with the coach for feedback.

Anyone that wants to do a warm-up before the main exercise should arrive early and do their warm-up before 10:00.

All exercises are set up so participants can do as much or as little as they like. Often they will consist of multiple loops or will be a technical drill based in one location so you can do more or less depending on your speed or interest and the head coach can check in with participants during the training. Alternatively exercises and courses will be set up with multiple cut points or with multiple course of different lengths so you can do the length appropriate for you.

Note: Volunteering is an important part of being able to run programs. Please consider volunteering to set out controls or pick them up. The coach will coordinate the setting of the flags and will provide personal advice and assistance during this process which WILL make you a better orienteer. We appreciate the help. The logistics of putting out all the controls each week is too complicated to do without volunteer assistance.

Safety Information

Orienteering is an outdoor activity that carries a risk of personal injury due to natural and man-made hazards and environmental conditions. In addition to this, for orienteers in the Bow Valley and other parks close Calgary, there is the risk of an encounter with a bear or other large mammal. The participant acknowledges these risks and agrees to take responsibility by

  1. understanding the potential dangers (as described in the waiver n the registration page);
  2. knowing the safety bearing on the map;
  3. knowing the maximum allowed time AND returning on time;
  4. informing the coach when they are back; and
  5. acting responsibly in the forest to reduce risk, especially in the event of a large animal encounter. This may include carrying bear spray (and knowing how to use it appropriately).

The organizers of orienteering events prepare a Safety and Emergency Action Plan that covers how to reasonably minimize these risks and what to do in case of participant injury or if a participant is overdue. The Coach at these trainings is also the Safety Chief and has up-to-date First Aid certification.

Bear Spray

  • Carrying bear spray in trainings and races is recommended for all adults.
  • Most FWOC club members run with bear spray in the forest.
  • All coaches will carry bear spray.

Bear Spray Information

The Government of Alberta has several different documents to access to improve your knowledge of bears:

  1. Government of Alberta: Alberta BearSmart:
  2. Government of Alberta SRD: Bear deterrents:
  3. Government of Alberta: BearSmart Colouring & Activity Book:

How to carry bear spray during your training:

  • Bear Cozy – a bear spray holder that fits directly into the water bottle holder on your waist-belt.
  • Scat Belt – a special waist belt designed to carry bear spray.

Registration Info


All sessions in this program are aimed at intermediate to advanced adult (16+) orienteers. Participants should be comfortable in the forest by themselves.


Drop-in fee of $15 per training session. You MUST be a member of FWOC or another orienteering club to participate.


On-line registration is mandatory but there you will pay in person. Registration is through the FWOC Membership page. If you are already a member, just click the "already have my membership" box.

Questions may be directed to Marsha at