Map and Compass Navigation Rogaine Field Trip 2023 - Follow-Up
Merv Trease (Gear Guru and Ski Legend, Bogong Equipment)
What a great day for a field trip at the Rogaine - a little rain, but generally great Rogaining weather, although the cloud came down early as we finished. We ended up with 17 participants in 5 teams of 3 or 4 (many of them were trail runners), which enabled excellent learning opportunities. There was great enthusiasm prior to starting the exercise with everyone well kitted out for the drizzling weather conditions.
The Rogaine provided the opportunity to learn ‘in-the-field’ the skill of map and compass navigation, interpreting the contours on the map and relating them to the exercise and vice-versa, as well as taking and following a compass bearing - putting the theory of the evening session into practice!
After the near 6 hours in the field, about 15km and approximately 500m of ascent, the groups returned absolutely delighted with their experience and how much they had learnt. They were full of praise for their leader / teacher / instructor / mentor. The Bogong groups attending the event are now a well-known phenomenon among the Rogaine community and strongly supported by the Victorian Rogaining Association (VRA).
Uma (Customer Service, Bogong Equipment)
"If you want to learn how to navigate you should go Rogaining" is a sentence I’d first heard from some hikers in Queensland, after I’d explained to them how I needed to learn to navigate. I knew I needed to learn my navigation fundamentals after getting lost solo hiking.
The panic you get while the sun is setting and your phone’s battery is on 5%, with no concept of which way is north, is not something I wish upon anyone. So when the opportunity came up to not only go Rogaining, but to actually learn how to navigate using a compass through Merv’s navigation course - I didn’t hesitate.
Merv’s evening class at Bogong Equipment made navigation simple and followed up with the Rogaining exercise, where we used the skills to help nail it in-the-field. What’s really interesting is how simple compass navigation really is!
What was actually a little trickier was picking a route based on topography, luckily they don’t leave you to fend for yourself and we had Merv there with all his wisdom to guide us on how to make the smartest decisions. I definitely recommend this experience to others.
Sam (Warranties and Customer Service, Bogong Equipment)
“It was good to see Merv do his thing and share the experience with Uma. I hadn’t done Rogaining before, only done orienteering prior. It was a little bit overcast and raining, moved around without getting too hot, a bit muddy but a good dynamic for the exercise. I’m keen to do some more of it, definitely do again.”
- Get there early – more time to sit and work out route
- Old school navigation but essential for long durations outdoors