Traffic Lighting

Posted on Fri, 3rd February 2012 by Julie Astin

Traffic Lighting

Each leg of a course can be broken down to bite-size pieces. Too much information just leads to mistakes – make it easy on yourself.

  1. Decide what your attack point is.
  2. Work back from there using large obvious features.
  3. Now the green light is on.
  4. Amber is where you need to verify decisions.
  5. Red is where you are closely reading map and land, homing in on information. Example below:
  1. From No.1 the attack point to No.2 is the path/track junction.
  2. Large obvious features are first path and thicket.
  3. Run as fast as I can due north to path and onwards until I see large thicket, I am not interested in fine detail, I am not looking at the map, I am in GREEN mode.
  4. From the thicket, still running fast, I check the compass to verify running in northerly direction, hit the path, look for the junction. I can see more information, need to verify path directions – I am in AMBER mode.
  5. At path/track junction I slow down. I am relying on the compass now, checking off information – I am in RED mode. I see the first pit to my right with a marker in – I DON’T waste time checking it out, I go straight past it to my control a little further on.


Try it, particularly on longer legs. If you want to improve on your times, try not to waste precious minutes reading the finer detail on the map until you absolutely have to. When you can get your “head down” and run – do it!

John & Liz Cook


Orienteering Club