postheadericon WARA Novice Guide

Western Australian Rogaining Association

Novice Guide (in PDF)

Welcome to the sport of rogaining in Western Australia. We hope this booklet produced by the Western Australian Rogaining Association (WARA) will provide you with the basic skills to make your first rogaine a safe and enjoyable experience and also give you a little background into the sport.

1. What is a Rogaine?
2. Safety
3. Equipment
4. Foot Care
5. Navigation
6. At the Event
7. Additional Information
8. Training
9. Summary
Rules of Rogaining

1. What is a Rogaine?

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation. Using only a topographical map and compass, teams of two to five people travelling on foot visit as many controls (checkpoints) as they wish. The point values of controls vary and the aim of the competition is to accumulate as many points as possible within the set time period. The majority of rogainers are recreational teams, who compete only for the amount of time that they are comfortable with, taking into consideration the team’s abilities and fitness level.

Rogaining is a team activity for all ages and levels of fitness. There are three classes of teams – men’s, women's and mixed. These classes are further broken down into categories according to age. There are also categories for families, cadets, novice and tertiary education teams. A schools championships and a junior cadet challenge are held every year.

Rogaining was inaugurated in Victoria in 1976 and started in Western Australia in 1980. We currently hold six bush events a year: 12 hour events in April and October; 24 hour events in June and August, a 6 hour event in March, and a 12 hour night event (to avoid the heat of the day) known as the “Upside Down Rogaine” which is held during February. Events are ideally held on weekends to coincide with the full moon and the courses are set over a mixture of state forest and farmland.

How long you rogaine for within the time limits of the event and which controls you visit is entirely up to your team. Even the most experienced and competitive rogainers very rarely manage to visit every control on the map. Controls can be visited in any order, which makes route choice an important part of the event. Competitors are permitted to return to the assembly area, named the hash house after the food tent, at any time during the event for a rest and food.

Twelve hour events generally start at 10am on the Saturday and finish at 10pm. Food is provided at the hash house from 5pm onwards and breakfast is served on Sunday morning. Competitors are encouraged to stay overnight to reduce the risk of accidents caused by fatigue while driving home. Twenty four hour events generally start at midday Saturday and finish midday Sunday, and the hash house is open from 5pm until one hour after the close of the event. Upside Down events run from 8pm to 8am and the hash house serves breakfast only. Six hour events run from 3pm to 9pm and no food is provided.

For safety, children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a team member who is aged 18 or older.

Entry and membership forms are included in the WARA newsletter, or you can enter on line at the rogaining web site Details of how to get to an event and any special instructions are made available to the team contact during the week preceding an event.

2. Safety

To assist in your enjoyment and safety while rogaining, it is important you read this guide and the rules of rogaining. WARA is very aware that it has a duty of care to its members and every effort is made to organise events that are as safe as possible. However, competitors also have a duty of care. If you have not had any bushwalking or orienteering experience, you must be mindful that you will be spending several hours in an environment that is unfamiliar to you, in possibly changing weather conditions, and you should plan and act accordingly.

Some examples of hazards at rogaines:
• Rocks: If you can see a rocky area ahead, be alert to the fact that there are probably even more rocks in the area hidden under the forest litter. Likewise some farm paddocks will have hidden rocks in pasture or crop stubble. Tread carefully to avoid twisting your ankles. Bare rock surface
can be very slippery when wet.
• Fallen Logs: Test them before you climb over or walk along them – they may not be as stable at they look, and invariably will be slippery when wet.
• Rivers: Cross slowly and test the depth and current as you go, particularly after rain.
• Fences: Cross fences at corner posts or use a gate. Barbed wire fences are very sharp and will cut you and your clothes if not crossed with care.
• Snakes: Snakes are very rarely seen at events as they will invariably get out of the way when they hear a human crashing through bush. Be careful when stepping over logs or rocks to ensure where you are stepping is safe.
• Electric fences: Unless you are advised at the pre-event briefing that all electric fences have been switched off, treat all electric fences as “live” and act accordingly. Electric fences often pulse, so they may appear to be off but still be intermittently electrified. This means that the fence appears to be switched off. One person could touch and climb over the fence without incident but the next person could get a surprising shock.

WARA provides an informative safety sheet on plasticised paper for free. Please ask for one of these at the Administration tent if you do not have one. If you become sick or injured you should make your way to one of the patrolled roads which are shown on the competition map.

A volunteer first aid officer is present at all events. They can assist with situations requiring first aid but are unable to dispense medications such as headache tablets.

All team members must carry a whistle and and recommend that each team carries a simple first aid kit..

3. Equipment

No specialist equipment is required for rogaining, just the basic equipment you would carry for a day/night bushwalk. Everything you take should fit into a day pack, or a bum bag for shorter events. Make sure it is good quality that won’t easily fall apart. The items required to be carried are: spare clothing for when the weather gets cold or wet, food, water bottles (at least 2 litres each), first aid kit, whistle, compass, pencil and a torch. You will also need to bring spare clothes for after the event, camping gear if you intend to stay overnight and eating utensils so you can enjoy the culinary delights of the hash house.

3.1. Clothing

Rogaines are held throughout the year and are not cancelled if the weather is bad - that’s one of the challenges. Consequently, competitors must be prepared for a range of weather conditions, bearing in mind that warm sunny days can quickly turn into cold and wet nights. Clothing required depends on the weather and the duration of the event with the recommended minimum being:
• a comfortable, sturdy pair of shoes or walking boots, with good thick socks;
• light-weight long pants (not jeans) or shorts, depending on the weather and the terrain;
• a T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt;
• a warm woollen, fleece jumper or thermal top. Thermal “long johns” for the winter events when the temperature drops at night;
• a water and wind proof jacket;
• a pair of woollen or thermal gloves;
• a woollen or thermal beanie and sun hat; and
• gaiters to protect legs from scratches and socks from grass seeds;
For shorter events (6 and 12 hour events) you may not need extra warm clothing, but be mindful that the weather can change unexpectedly.

3.2. Food and Water

There are many theories about what is the best food to carry with you during the event, and this depends on an individual’s preference and tastes. Two types of food groups are required during sustained exercise. Prior to and during the rogaine, foods with a low GI (Glycaemic Index) that provide a slow sustained release of energy are best. Foods such as nuts, dried fruit, pasta and starchy vegetables such as potatoes may well be most suitable. During an event when fatigue has set in, foods high in glucose are good for providing “instant energy”. Examples include chocolate, jelly babies and specialty sports power bars and gels, although the latter are expensive. Fruit is also a good idea, oranges are good for providing extra fluid and bananas are good for energy and they reduce lactic acid. Experiment with different foods to see which suits you best. Ask around at the hash house after a rogaine to see what other people took with them. Experienced rogainers are always willing to share advice.

The amount of food that you will need to carry depends on the event duration and how far you are planning to walk. Many teams plan courses that loop into the hash house, eat a good meal, then go to parts of the course that they haven’t covered yet.

Water is an essential item to carry on a rogaine. Dehydration is a major contributor to fatigue and as a general rule competitors should consume about 1 litre per hour during strenuous exercise. It’s also a good idea to start drinking before you start exercising. You must never wait until you are thirsty before drinking, by then it’s too late and you will already be dehydrated. If you are not urinating at your normal rate then you are dehydrated. Depending on the amount of water on the course and the temperature, you may need to carry 2 litres per person. Some controls will be at or near water drops at which you can refill your water containers. Plan a route that regularly passes through water drops. It is recommended that you drink only from water provided by WARA and not from streams found in farms or forests due to the possibility of bacterial contamination.

Please be careful not to litter - even accidently. Don’t drop fruit peel on the course. It takes ages to break down.

3.3. First Aid Kit

It is highly recommended that one first aid kit per team is carried. The minimum items required in a first aid kit are one linear compression bandage, one triangular bandage, and a roll of elastoplast tape. Additional recommended items include pain killers such as aspirin or panadol, tweezers, Vaseline, bandaids, antiseptic cream and sun-screen. Any personal medication should also be carried such as ventolin for asthmatics.

3.4. Whistle, Compass and Pencil

Each competitor is required to carry a whistle and compass. A spare pencil is also required for marking intention sheets at controls in case the pencil at the control is broken or missing. (See At The Control). Should you get into trouble and require assistance you should blow a series of short sharp blasts on your whistle. Any teams in the area are required to assist should they hear a team in distress. It is also your duty to provide assistance should you hear someone blowing their whistle.

Make sure you have a good quality compass such as a Silva designed for use in the southern hemisphere. Compasses from the northern hemisphere do not work well in Australia because of differences in the earth’s magnetic field. Compasses can be hired from administration for $5 per event as part of your event entry. Do not carry your compass around loosely in your hand. Instead, tie the compass to your hand, watch or a button hole in your shirt. Carrying a spare compass per team is a good idea.

3.5. Torches

You will need to carry a torch with spare batteries and a spare globe. Head-torches are popular as they allow hands–free operation and illuminate wherever you are looking. Don’t feel you need an expensive torch though, it just needs to be reliable. A penlight or small torch may be used to read the map at night, to see when filling in the intention sheet or as a backup if you get caught out after dark.

Don’t shine your torch light into the eyes of your partners or directly at passing teams! This is especially true of the latest LED torches which can be extremely bright.

3.6. Miscellaneous

Remember to take out on the course with you some toilet paper/tissues, watch, sunscreen and any other personal items. A plastic map bag or contact is useful to protect your map from accidental damage and wet weather.

For planning your route and preparation of the map before the event you will also need tools such as highlighter pens, rulers and scissors. Many teams plan their course using a pin board, pins and a string marked with distances. Adhesive “contact” is an alternative to a map bag.

3.7. Camping gear

If you intend to camp overnight at the hash house you will need a tent and a warm sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Take your own water to use for camping and as your initial supply for the rogaine. You will also need a folding chair and a mess kit (plate, bowl, mug, knife, fork, spoon). Of course you don’t have to carry all of these with you during the event!

4. Foot Care

If you travel 40 km in a rogaine with an average step of 0.8m, you will take around 50,000 steps. For the average person with a day pack on, that’s a total impact of about 3500 tonnes. It is thus important that you have a good, sturdy pair of runners or light hiking boots to wear. If you are prone to rolling your ankles, they can be strapped in the manner shown to protect them from turning on uneven ground while allowing regular movement. Remember, the shoes you wear don’t have to be expensive, just sturdy and comfortable. Getting blisters because your shoes are not worn-in or don’t fit properly would be unwise.

Example of ankle taping

4.1. Blisters

Blisters are better prevented than treated, so if you feel a hot spot cover it immediately with tape such as Leukosilk. Some people do this before the event start to prevent the hot spots. A Vaseline coating on the feet and between the toes also prevents rubbing and blisters. Good loop–pile woollen socks provide extra comfort and minimise rubbing. Talcum powder is great after the event to help the feet recover.

Some people also carry a second pair of socks to change into during the event. Other people wear thick socks over thin socks or stockings. There are many and varied views on the prevention of blisters.

5. Navigation

5.1. The Map

WARA produces custom-made maps based on data from Landgate - a WA state government agency. Each map is printed with contour lines (described below), as well as magnetic north lines, some tracks, buildings and forest boundaries. The control locations and control numbers are also printed on the map.

The topographical maps used for rogaines are simply a graphical representation of the shape and form of the land over that area. One of the most obvious components of the map are the continuous brown lines, called contour lines. Contour lines are not present in reality but on a map they are used to mark a line of equal altitude. The shape of the contour lines allows you to visualise, or interpret, from the map a picture of what the landscape looks like in reality. For instance, the closer the contour lines the steeper the slope. With practice this becomes an easy task and a skilled map reader can recognise the exact shape of the land at a glance. Examples of the more common contour patterns are shown below

All linear (roads, fences, forest boundaries) and cultural features (buildings, dams) are marked on topographical maps using easily recognisable symbols and are explained on the map’s legend. In Western Australia, rogaine maps have the following characteristics:
• Roads and tracks are generally mapped as black, possibly dashed, lines of varying thickness depending on their type. Not all tracks are mapped and some that are mapped may have become overgrown and difficult to distinguish.
• Creeks or watercourses are mapped as blue lines, although a blue line doesn’t always mean water, or even a defined channel, will be present, it just gives an indication of where water would flow.
• Buildings and other structures are marked as black squares, and dams as blue squares.
• The north lines are magnetic.
• The contour interval, which is the vertical height between contour lines, is normally 5m, and is indicated on the legend.
• Most WARA maps do not give an indication of how thick the vegetation is.

If you are not experienced at reading topographical maps, it is worth buying one from an outdoor shop and learning to recognise the contour patterns and symbols.

The map below shows the features of a typical WARA rogaine map. WARA rogaine maps are in colour, which makes interpreting the map easier than the example shown.

Example rogaining map
Important features on the map to observe are
• The hash house (camp site), shown with a triangle.
• The patrolled roads, which are shown with a grey shading.
• A water drop shown with a double circle and a “w”.
• An out-of-bounds area shown by a cross-hatched pattern. Entry to these is forbidden.
• Shading indicating plantation, which could be pine or blue gum.

The controls shown are:
27: The knoll. A knoll is a small hill on a larger hill.
34: The track and the watercourse crossing.
43: The saddle. A saddle is a valley between hills.
44: The track junction.
50: The spur. A spur is a ridge leading downhill from a hill top.
51: The gully. This is another word for a valley.
If you are confused about distinguishing gullies from spurs have a look at where the creeks run, these are the gullies and valleys; the curves in between are the convex sides of hills called “spurs”. Also, look for the summits (closed contour circles), these make it easy to identify the descending spurs.

The scale of the map is a very important factor in reading the map correctly. WARA maps are generally of a scale of 1:50000. This means that 1 unit of distance on the map represents 50,000 of the same units on the ground. For instance, on a 1:50000 map, 2 cm is equivalent to 1000m (1 kilometre) on the ground

A piece of string, a ruler (edge of compass), or the edge of a piece of paper can be used to measure the distance between two features on a map and help calculate the actual distance.

5.2. The Compass

Once you are sure about recognising features on the map, you can use a compass to help orient the map so the landscape features on the map are aligned in the direction of the real features. The compass is also used to help you travel along a line, or bearing, between two points. There are a number of features on a compass that facilitate this:
1. A base plate with a fixed “direction of travel” arrow.
2. A revolving needle with a coloured (usually red) end that points to magnetic north.
3. A dial with parallel orienting lines and orienting arrow, with numbered degrees marked around the edge.

The north lines on WARA’s maps show magnetic north so you do not need to do any calculations to compensate for the declination between magnetic north and grid-north.

5.3. To Take a Compass Bearing

How to use a compas

Refer to the illustration, in which a bearing is taken from a creek junction to a knoll.

• Place the side of the compass from where you are to where you want to go, as if you were ruling a line. The direction of travel arrow indicates your forward direction.

• Turn the compass dial around so that the orienting arrow and orienting lines lie parallel with the magnetic north arrow lines on the map. Ensure that the orienting arrow faces north on the map, and not south.






5.4. To Follow a Compass Bearing

How to use a  compass

• Take the compass off the map, and hold it flat in your hand in front of your body, with the direction of travel arrow pointing straight ahead of you.

• Move your feet to turn your whole body around, until the orienting arrow and the coloured end of the magnetic needle are parallel with each other.

• The direction of travel arrow is now pointing in the direction you wish to go.

The easiest way to follow a bearing is to pick an easily identifiable object, such as a tree or rock, in the distance along the direction indicated by the direction-of-travel arrow. You can then walk to this object without looking at the compass and repeat the process identifying a new object along the bearing. This technique allows you to move off the bearing to negotiate obstacles but still return to the bearing at the object you had previously identified as being on the bearing line.


5.5. Distance Measurement

Pace counting is a very useful navigational technique to help determine how far you have travelled on a compass bearing or how far you’ve walked along a road from a previously known position. Before the event work out how many paces it takes you to walk 100m on tracks and in the bush. Typically, an adult takes 65 double paces to walk 100 metres. A double pace is two steps – for example count only steps made with your left foot.

You can also use your wrist watch. Time how long it takes you to walk a kilometre on tracks and in bush of varying thickness. If you walk fast, you can walk a kilometre in the forest in 15 minutes and even faster on tracks.

6. At the Event

Event registration (administration) opens at least 2 hours prior to the start of the event. Maps, control description sheet and additional information are made available at this time. The opening time for registration is included in the event information form that is mailed to the team contact in the week preceding the rogaine. All teams must register at administration. Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the event site comfortably and pitch your tent. Use as much time as possible to examine the map and plan a course. Whenever you return to the hash house you must hand in your control card to the administration team, even if you intend to return to the course later.

All team members must be present when you check in and out of administration. This is for safety reasons. If you do not return your control card at the end of the event, you will be presumed missing and a search will be initiated. Do not suffer the embarrassment of this occurring.

6.1. Novice Clinic

Approximately 90 minutes after registration opens, all novices are required to assemble at the administration tent to attend a Novice Clinic. Experienced rogainers will be available to advise you on reading maps, interpreting contours, and will demonstrate how to set a compass and follow a bearing. They will also show you a control, how to fill in the intention sheet attached to the control and the correct method of punching your control card. The exact time of the novice clinic for each event is included in the information mailed to the team contact in the week preceding the event.

6.2. Route Planning

After you have obtained your map from administration it’s time to plan a route. This can be made easier by colour coding controls with highlighter pens. Use a different colour for the different point values. By colour coding controls it’s easy to see where the high scoring controls are. Look for obvious routes or loops that join several highly valued controls together. Use linear features such as roads and watercourses to lead you to controls. Avoid too much up and down climbing, it may be quicker to take a slightly longer, flatter route between controls than a short, steep route.

How far you can walk depends on how fit your team is; whether the terrain is steep, flat, farm or bush land; your team’s navigational experience; and the weather. Most people can walk comfortably at 3 to 4 km an hour on tracks but much slower in the bush. If you have some problems locating a control your effective pace may be just 2 km/hr.

For your first event plan a course to walk in the daylight hours and travel 10 to 15kms. You only need to stay on the course for as long as you find enjoyable. Plan to return to the hash house which is open from 4pm at most events. Don’t over-extend yourself at your first event. Use the experience you gain to assist your planning for next time.

Beware of hills! A good rule of thumb is that a 10m vertical climb takes the equivalent energy to a 100m horizontal walk. So consider whether the control on top of a huge hill is worth it.

When planning your course identify some ‘escape routes’ to be used if you fall behind schedule. You could plan for a direct route back to the hash house along a road or select some controls of lower values that you could leave out. If you finish your course early or you are ahead of schedule you can visit some extra controls. You could also have a meal and then try your luck at night navigation.

On 12 hour events all competitive teams stay out for the full duration. The top competitors have many theories about if and when to return to the hash house during a 24 hour event. Many stay out all night and do not return to the hash house at all. This maximises their opportunities to collect high value controls a long way from the hash house.

Other competitive teams plan a short, fast route for the afternoon that brings them back to the hash house on dusk where they can have a rest and some food before picking up warm clothing and extra food, and then continuing on all night and into the next day. Conversely, some teams prefer to return to the hash house in the early hours of the morning, when morale is lowest and travelling speed is the slowest. It’s amazing what a good rest and some food do for the soul.

6.3. At The Start

Half an hour before the start of the event your control card, also called a punch card, is available from administration. All members of a team must be present to collect your control card. The control card is divided into a grid of small squares. Each square is numbered, and you mark this card using a special punch at each control to prove you have been there.

Prior to the start of each event there is usually a five or ten minute briefing given by the event organisers. It is important to listen to this as last minute information may be provided. When the start time arrives, the champagne corks pops and you can go rogaining!

6.4. At The Control

When your team reaches a control you must punch the square on the control card that corresponds to that control. You MUST fill in the intention sheet hanging from the control with your team number, time (24-hr or use am/pm) and proposed next control. This helps the searchers if you become lost or late. It’s a good idea if one person punches the control card and another fills in the intention sheet. All team members must simultaneously pass within 5m of the control. Although it might feel tempting, you are not allowed to rest within 100m of a control. This can give away the control location to other teams. You can rest at a control if it is also a water drop.

If you make a mistake and punch the wrong box on the control card, make a mental note and point out your error to the administration team as soon as you return. You will be credited with the points only if you advise administration before they check your card. Just having your team fill in the intention sheet is insufficient to claim points for a given control.

6.5. Some Navigation Tips

• The bush along spurs and ridge lines is generally more open.
• Bush in gullies is often thick.
• Be wary of relying too heavily on tracks for navigation. Not all the tracks may be marked on the map. In logged areas, new tracks will have been made, and other tracks will have fallen into disuse and become overgrown. The data used as a basis for the rogaine map may be very old and the track details could be out-of-date. Treat minor tracks with suspicion.
• Determine the number of steps it takes you to walk 100 meters along tracks, open bush and thick bush. Use this to pace count and help measure distances between features and along roads and compass bearings.
• Use obvious features as attack points for controls. Instead of trying to navigate directly to a control along a bearing over a long distance, navigate to a nearby feature, such as a knoll, and then navigate to the control. This reduces the chances of drifting off course which can happen after following bearings for long distances.
• Take note of pre-event information such as the location of drinkable water, map corrections, areas of thick bush etc.
• Always be aware of your position and match the terrain to the map. This will ensure that you pick up any deviations from your course early.

6.6. Control Description Terminology

Administration will provide you with a control descriptions sheet that explains the location of all the controls and their point values. Descriptions usually begin with “THE” or “A”. Descriptions beginning with THE, e.g. ‘The Spur’, indicate that the spur is a feature that is recognisable on the map. Those beginning with “A” e.g. ‘A Knoll’ is one that is not marked on the map but exists on the ground.

Occasionally, controls are described using a bearing and distance such as ‘The track intersection, 120o 50m’. This means you must navigate to the track intersection, then set your compass on 120o and travel in that direction for 50 metres. The control circle on your map is centred on the named feature, not the location of the control.
Controls in gullies are often described as being “The gully, head of”. This simply means that the control is in the narrower or uphill part of the gully.

6.7. Night Navigation

Once you understand the major concepts relevant to daytime navigation, you can try to put them to use at night. The main difference at night is that you can only see what is immediately around you, and possibly the outline of surrounding hills. At night you have to pay as much attention as possible to your compass, as well as the slope of the ground under your feet and always keep reference to where you are on the map, since if you lose your position at any stage it is much harder to relocate at night (see If You Are Lost below). Learn to recognise features in the dark, and try to use your torch as little as possible, this helps protect your night vision. Take safer, but sometimes longer, routes between controls in the dark.

Remember that at rogaines your team chooses where it wants to go and when. If you do not wish to navigate at night you do not have to. However, you should always carry a torch even if you don’t plan on being on the course at night - just in case your plans don’t work out.

6.8. If You Are Lost or Late

If you are lost, DON’T PANIC. Stop and rest first, then try to determine where you were last sure about your position and back track to that point. If you can’t back track to a known position, stop and have another rest and a bite to eat. Use your whistle to attract attention – a series of short blasts at regular intervals is the recognised distress signal. Think about where you are. Are there any major roads, patrolled roads or other recognisable features near your general area that you could reach without too much trouble? If you are seriously lost and you see another team, inform them that you are lost and ask for their help to locate your position on the map.

If you are utterly lost make your way to a driveable road. Event organisers will travel along the indicated patrolled roads every few hours. Make your way to a patrolled road, or failing that a close-by major road. You will be more easily found on a road than in the bush.

If your team is not back at the hash house within 1 hour of the finish a search will be conducted. A check of cars and tents will be conducted to establish whether you have returned to the hash house and not returned your control card to administration. Searchers in vehicles will be dispatched to check the controls’ intention sheets to narrow-in on your likely location. If a vehicle search along patrolled and other roads and tracks fails to locate you, a more intensive foot search will be initiated and the police will be put on stand-by. If you are still missing after the foot search, the police will be called in and a thorough search will be conducted.

If you are running late and will finish the event after the 30-minute penalty period, wait on a patrolled road or return to the hash house via a patrolled road. Do not leave the patrolled road in the hope of reaching the hash house cross-country.

6.9. If Someone Is Sick or Injured

Use your whistle to attract attention and seek help from passing teams. Anyone who hears the distress signal is obliged to provide any assistance required. Try to make your way to a patrolled roads, or a control site if possible. Do not split up or abandon a sick or injured person.

6.10. Helping Out

Rogaines are run entirely by volunteers, and this is how we keep the cost of rogaining so low. After an event there are a number of small tasks you could assist us with such as packing the tents and equipment into the truck, cleaning up the camp site or even collecting controls!

After a few events, please consider volunteering your services in a more major way at an event. There are plenty of interesting jobs that need doing including course setting, truck driving (truck driver licence required), serving food at the hash house and administration duties. Helping is great fun and you meet lots of new friends and potential rogaine partners.

7. Additional Information

Please refer to the current rules of rogaining. These rules have been designed to not only ensure a fair competition but also with your personal safety in mind. It is important that you and your team members read carefully and understand the rules.
The WARA web page is It contains lots of useful resources such as newsletters, people to contact, the event programme, results and maps of winners’ routes.
Upcoming events are listed in the WARA Events Calendar.

8. Training

WARA offers a training weekend which is held once a year, normally in May, at Dryandra Woodland near Narrogin. These weekends are tailored for novices and intermediate rogainers. A variety of useful skills are taught such as using compasses, reading the map and contours, relocating and navigation techniques. Groups of about 5 students are taken by a group leader and are given the opportunity to practice their new skills in the field.
A novice briefing is also held prior to the start of each rogaine, where you can brush up on your compass and map reading skills.

9. Summary

This guide is by no means comprehensive. It has been designed to give you some idea of the methods, equipment and navigational techniques used by many of today’s experienced rogainers. What you do with it now is up to you. As you progress in the sport, you will discover your own techniques and become a more skilful navigator.

If you want more information on navigating there is an excellent reference book available written by two of the pioneers of rogaining: Rogaining Cross Country Navigation by Neil Phillips and Rod Phillips. Published in 2000 by Outdoor Recreation in Australia. Copies are available by contacting the committee.

There is more information about rogaining, copies of past event maps (with routes taken by winning teams), back issues of newsletters, and event results at the WARA web page

Be prepared to experiment when you first start out. Don’t be too ambitious and be prepared to change your shoes, your food and even your rogaining partner!

If you have any queries or questions about rogaining or navigation in general, feel free to phone a committee member, or speak to them at an event. They are always happy to help out anyone new to the sport.

We hope you enjoy your rogaining experience. At all times remember – Rogaining is fun!

Western Australian
Rogaining Association

Published by the Western Australian Rogaining Association (Inc) January 2017

Copyright © 2000-2017 The Western Australian Rogaining Association (Inc)

Many thanks to the Victorian Rogaining Association for their kind permission to use their Novice Guide as a basis
for this publication.

Compass illustrations reproduced with permission of Neil Phillips.

Compass usage explanations based on the Orienteering Federation of Australia’s Level 1 Coaching Manual by Mandy and Mark Hennessy (1992).

Compiled by Gary Carroll and Maggie Jones.

Last Updated (Sunday, 01 January 2017 11:15)

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