Know what a distinct linear feature is


A distinct linear feature is an obvious feature that is much longer in one direction than in another (i.e. is linear) and that you can relatively easily follow or can find when crossing it.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Roads and trails
  • Streams
  • Fences and walls (stone or otherwise)
  • Distinct edges of field or forest

Note that not all linear features are distinct:

  • Ridges, spurs, and reentrants
  • Linear marshes
  • A series of point features such as large boulders (quite an advanced linear feature)


Orienteers should know and understand the definition of a distinct linear feature and be able to give some examples. They don't need to know less distinct linear features or actually be able to recognize any of them (that's a different skill). 


The following links point to resources that have been collected and are relevant to this skill (?).

Handrails course exercise


Description of / instructions for a simple 'handrails course' exercise complete with warm up activity to teach the concept of handrails at