I've Entered What's Next?

On the Monday (or overnight to Tuesday) before the event, Final Instructions will be posted on our website. You should print off a copy of this and read it well. You will be given instructions about how to get to the event and important times, such as when maps will be given out and the event start and finish times. Often there is valuable advice provided about the terrain and recommendations and a checklist of equipment.

The Final Instructions will also include an Indemnity Form. All team members must complete the form before your team can receive its maps. Children under 18 must have a parent sign for them.

Go here... for information about NSWRA insurance

Arriving at the event

Arrive in plenty of time and follow any directions for car parking.

What Now?

Between arriving and the start of the event you should be using your time for:

  • Registering your team – Take your completed Indemnity Form to the Registration desk and make any changes you might need to register your team (change of team members, age/gender category or event length if this is offered)
  • Setting up tents and sleeping arrangements if you intend to camp after the event
  • Route Planning
  • Map Protection
  • Foot care prevention
  • Checking and packing what you’re taking and wearing
  • Attending the Novices Briefing and General Briefing

Once you have completed registration you should have received:

  • Maps (1 each)
  • Control Description Sheet (1 each)
  • Course Setters Notes (1 per team)
  • Flight Plan (1 per team) – issued for longer events
  • Navlight wristband (1 each). To be attached on the wrist and only removed at the end of the event. Here... for more information.

Route Planning

Read the Course Setters Notes carefully and refer to your map. These Notes provide valuable information to assist you in preparing a safe and enjoyable course, as well as highlighting any last minute course changes.

Thoroughly examine the map, noting the following:

  • North – Is Grid North, or Magnetic North marked?
  • Map Scale and legend symbols
  • Location of the Hash House (start/finish area marked with triangle)
  • Out of Bounds areas and any possible routes around
  • Work out the topographic pattern of the area: where are the hills, are they linked by ridge lines, how much of a climb to the top (count the contour lines), are parts of the course very steep (contours close together), are there cliffs marked, are there major water courses, can these be easily crossed, are parts of the course hard or slow to travel through due to terrain or vegetation, are there major and minor roads or tracks that can be used to move between controls? Are unmarked tracks mentioned?
  • Look at the location of Controls marked on the map and read the Control Description to understand more exactly where you will need to go for each Control and what might be the best approach for each one.

Comprehensive VRA Rogaining manual here...

SARA Tips and Tricks here...

ACTRA Navigation and Rogaining Skills Notes here...

Many Rogainers find it useful to use coloured highlighters to mark the Controls on their map, often in colours related to the score value. You can also mark on your final route choice.

See below for notes about map protection.

Route Planning is essential to a successful result. The whole team should be involved in the discussion. Keep in mind the following:

  • The experience of the team at map reading, navigation and cross country travel
  • The fitness of each team member today, endurance for the length of the event and how far you will realistically travel. Experience shows that actual speed across the ground in a Rogaine is much less than one's walking pace on a well surfaced path (less than half).
  • What is the weather forecast? Will it be hot (will dehydration be a problem, how much water is each team member carrying?), or wet or cold? Is everybody well equipped?
  • If the event includes night-time navigation, what should you do in daylight and what might be easier at night?
  • As you put your route together, consider loops that can be added or dropped depending on how well you are travelling, as well as the fastest route home if you are running late? Remember, being late costs points quickly.
  • Avoiding, where possible, gaining and losing great height between controls,
  • Working out how you will attack each control (what features can you use to make sure you are staying on course, have gone far enough but not too far?)
  • Where do you want to be at the half way point?
  • As your route develops, check it by estimating the time it will take to get to each control. Keep this with you and check your progress after a couple of hours. Are you ahead or behind schedule? Do you need to reassess your route?

Flight Plan

If you were given a Flight Plan, mark your intended route on it and add your team number and hand it in before the start. It's helpful for the event organisers in case you're late back, but you can change your plans on the course.

Map Protection

Times are changing and our maps are changing too. Some of our maps are now printed onto ‘plastic’ paper (Teslin is a brand we’ve used). This is waterproof and proving to be fairly durable. It comes with its own issues though:

  • Can be hard to mark onto
  • Some highlighters won’t take
  • Printed detail will come off at folds and with high abrasion

If the Final Instructions tell you that the map is printed on ‘plastic’ paper then you may not need to cover it with adhesive contact, but none of your written notes or route you mark on it will remain legible. For longer events, and if you want to be able to read your own map annotations, or use it as an aid to get over fences, then you will still need to contact at least the front side of your map.

Traditional paper maps are still sometimes used and they won't last, especially if they get wet. Cover paper maps with clear adhesive contact on both sides, or use a map case. Large ziplock plastic bags are also an option. Make sure you include your Control Description Sheet on the back if you are contacting your map.

Checking And Packing Your Equipment

Before your team leaves the Hash House, make sure every team member has:

  • Enough water, food, clothing (sun, rain, cold)
  • Torches and spare batteries for night-time
  • Mandatory safety gear listed in the final instructions
  • Their map and compass
  • Some team blister treatment & sun block
  • Make sure everybody is wearing their Navlight wristband and you’ve handed in your Team Flight Plan.

    Novices Briefing

    There will be a Novices Briefing about half an hour before the start, and a General Briefing after that. The General Briefing is compulsory for everyone. Allow time to attend both and feel free to ask any questions you might have. The organisers will be happy to help you, and want you to have a safe and enjoyable event. If you're still not comfortable with it all, tell the organisers that you would like to stay back after the start and talk your plans through with someone. They will be happy to help.

    Safety First

    • There are obvious risks involved in participating in Rogaining events, but with care and attention they are safe and enjoyable.
    • Remember that teams must stay together and in voice contact at all times. You will need to travel at the pace of your slowest member.
    • Keep monitoring each other’s condition and your team’s progress. Be prepared to change your route as circumstances change.
    • Make sure everyone is drinking and eating sufficient.
    • Stop and attend to hot spots as soon as you become aware of them. Don’t wait until you have blisters.
    • Plan to be back on time or slightly early.

    Back to: What equipment do I need?

    Forward to: Novices home page