If you are looking for a challenge in the great outdoors, then you might want to consider trying out rogaining. I recently participated in a 4-hour event organized by the SA Rogaining Association, and it was an absolute blast!
For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, rogaining is a combination of orienteering and long-distance running/hiking, where teams of two or more navigate through rugged terrain using a map and compass to find checkpoints. The objective is to cover as much distance as possible within a set time limit, and the team with the most checkpoints at the end of the event wins.
You get the maps of the area around 2h before the start to plan out your route. To plan out a successful rogaining route, there are several key steps to follow. First, study the map of the area and identify the location of the checkpoints and any potential obstacles. Next, set your objectives for the event and determine the most efficient routes to reach the checkpoints. Plan your navigation using your map and compass, marking significant landmarks and factoring in the time it will take to navigate difficult terrain. Practice your route beforehand if possible, but be flexible and willing to adapt to changing circumstances. By following these steps, you can plan out a route that maximizes your chances of success and helps you make the most of your rogaining experience.
The event was set in Stirling, South Australia a town in the Adelaide Hills, approximately 15 km from the Adelaide city centre. Considering the area having lot of hills and also considering our team of 3 being novices to the sport we decided to take a reasonable 5km/h pace for this one.
We started by going uphill to pick up the first checkpoint, and while most teams turned right from the junction after the first checkpoint, our planned route had a left turn. We already knew that we are not doing the most optimal route.At 2h mark we decided to re-evaluate our route. We realized we have time to add couple of more checkpoints if we quicken our phase slightly. Feeling confident, we even decided to leave our bags with one team mate and run to an off-course checkpoint that was worth 50 points.
In the end, we managed to get all the other planned checkpoints, but unfortunately missed one. Spent good 5 minutes trying to find the checkpoint there causing us to waste some time there. We came back to the hash house with just 4 minutes left to the cut-off time, feeling both relieved and exhausted.
Our team had placed 56th out of over 150 teams. It wasn’t a top spot by any means, but we were happy of our performance and had a blast competing.
Roganining is all about pushing your limits, taking risks, and having fun along the way. And we certainly did all of that. Until next time!