What to do in Parks – Rogaining

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit as many checkpoints as possible in a set time (twenty-four, twelve or six hours).

The activity consists of teams travelling entirely on foot, navigating only by map and compass between checkpoints, in terrain that varies from open farmland to hilly forest.

Rogainers navigate the bush using only a map and a compass.  (Photo: L-A Shibish)

A central base camp (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. Although rogaines are defined as being twelve hours or longer, the classic rogaine is the 24 hour event. Due to the duration, a campsite is required to accommodate sleep and rest.

Rogaining developed as a sport in its own right in the early 1970’s, but 24-hour walks had been held since at least 1947. The word ROGAINE was coined from: ROd GAIl and NEil, the three people in Australia reported to have developed the first ROGAINE. Some people know it as: Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance.

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.

Benefits of Rogaining

Rogaining is a physical outdoor activity, but combines mental ability as well.  At the August 2018 “Avon-a-Good Time” event, an informal survey of participants was undertaken, asking why they participate. Answers included:

  • Fitness
  • To enjoy the outdoors
  • Mental challenge
  • Social activity
  • Family time
  • Challenging oneself
  • Bushwalking
  • Spending time in nature

For more information on how to join in the Rogaining fun click here.