Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit hidden checkpoints within a defined time period. Teams travel entirely on foot, navigating by map and compass between checkpoints in terrain that varies from open farmland to hilly forest. A central base camp (the "Hash House") provides hot meals throughout the event and teams may return at any time to eat, rest or sleep. Teams travel at their own pace and anyone from children to grandparents can experience the personal satisfaction that comes from cross-country navigation at their own level of competition and comfort. One feature of rogaining is the opportunity for night navigation and the extra challenges that this involves. The classic rogaine is a 24 hour event, but there are also shorter events durations of 3, 4, 6, 8 and 12 hours in the SA rogaining calendar.
Rogaining is a team activity for people of all ages and levels of fitness. It provides competitors with navigational challenges, a way of enjoying the outdoors, and a sense of achievement.
Once the event has started, where you go and how fast you get there is entirely up to you and your team. Seriously competitive teams may cover 100km in a 24 hour event while social, casual and family groups may walk one or two short loops and achieve just as much satisfaction. The enjoyment comes from finding your way around a course that you have chosen and navigating back to the finish.
The great thing about rogaining is that events are often held on private land that is normally inaccessible to the public. It gives you a chance to see new parts of South Australia that you would not otherwise have the opportunity to see. Many events also use public land too, such as the pine forests of Kuitpo, Mt Crawford and Deep Creek or the native scrub of Mambray Creek. Our longer events are often held in the north near the Flinders Ranges and offer a truly superb South Australian bush experience.
How to Rogaine
Food and rest
There is also water provided on the course so that competitors can restock their supplies. Competitors will generally carry 2 or 3 litres of water each. Food eaten while out on the course is the competitors' responsibility - some turn this into a picnic!
The checkpoints are bright orange and white and are usually hung in trees in identifiable locations, such as the top of a hill, a creek junction, a bend in the road, etc. To demonstrate that you found it, you use a hole punch that is part of the checkpoint to mark the scorecard that you carry with you. You are also generally required to write on the checkpoint where you intend to go next, which is a safety measure for the rogaining association in case you need to be found!