A beginner’s guide to Rogaining

A beginner’s guide to Rogaining

A beginner’s guide to Rogaining


If you’ve never heard of Rogaining, you can’t be blamed for confusing it with well known product to help with hair loss. However in sporting terms it’s actually a lot like orienteering, only over longer periods and more intense.

The Rogaine Championship (Still, not the fastest person to grow their hair back), is a 24 hour event focusing on strategic moves, compass reading, map work, team work and tenacity.

The object

In teams of two to five people, your object is to get the highest score by finding checkpoints within a certain time frame.  Competing on foot, teams navigate the course with just a map and a compass. It’s just as much about strategy as it is about fitness. Team can go at their own pace, so it’s suitable for all ages. Most events have a camp set up so team can return to regroup, have something to eat and a rest. There are shorter events to choose. Contact your local rogaining club for more information on events.

What you need:

  • A compass
  • Whistle
  • Pencil and sharpener
  • Water bottle
  • Comfortable and warm clothes
  • Comfortable shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Torch
  • Camping gear (for 24-hour events)

How much?

It varies depending on the event but at a minimum around $20 to $80.

Tips from the experts

  • As soon as you get your map, mark out a route, especially the night section. Only dedicate 30 minutes to this task.
  • Proper foot care is essential. Extra cushioned socks and insoles can make the experience a lot more comfortable.
  • As well as gels and water, take a couple of substantial treats with you. There’s nothing like hunger pangs to put you off your game.
  • Keep an esky well stacked with ice and cold drinks back at the base. You’ll be glad you did on return.
  • Knowing how to read a topical map will help you navigate the terrain. For example; the flatter areas vs the parts which are steep and hard-going.
  • Look after your team members. You’re a team, don’t forget to encourage your team mates.
  • Toilet paper is always a good idea if you get caught short.
  • Enjoy the scenery, the wildlife and testing your endurance.