Arguably the least social sport in SA, rogaining is now even more appropriate for social distancing. While we can’t get more than two people together to have a competition, why not try our Mt Lofty Isolation rogaine?
Download a map from the website, grab a special app on your phone and head out, in a socially responsible way, to collect some virtual controls!
For this event, you will use a phone app to track where you are for the duration of the event. The app will beep when you are within 10m of the control, letting you know that you have ‘punched’. The app will calculate your score, distance and time, and show results as soon as you’ve finished – even upload to Strava if you ask it to. The app is designed for orienteering so you’ll need to enter as an individual and the categories will be slightly different to what we are used to. This also means many of the normal rules we follow will be temporarily bent out of shape – just look after yourself and keep yourself safe.
This will not be an official event (to be clear, no insurance, go out at your own risk). Think of it as a competitive training event: an excuse to break out the compass, maybe the head torch, and a great reason to give yourself sore legs for (up to) a week or just an excuse for a stroll in the park.
About the event
NB: There is some ongoing track work on the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Trail (most likely directly south of Cleland Wildlife Park). You should be able to find a way around this.
No need to enter – just download a copy of the map. We’ve made it A4 size so you can print at home if you have a colour printer, or find a local printer (eg Officeworks, assuming this is essential business…). You might be able to get away with a black and white print, but be prepared to disappoint the people who put so much time into the map 🙂
We’ve found a plain paper map in a sheet protector/plastic slip works reasonably well to make the map last 6 hours in a sweaty hand. If you remember the bad old days before we discovered Teslin, you could break out the ConTact.
Inspect the map at your leisure and plan a route. Enjoy the freedom from time limits on route planning – you can stay up all night if you want to! Unless you’re super fast, you won’t be able to collect all of the controls. If you are super fast, get ready for bragging rights (and sore legs)! If you get them all and it doesn’t even hurt, then you can brag about that too (and we’ll be sure to confiscate your motorbike).
There is no marker at the controls, only the features in the control description. To check that you are at the right place and to calculate a score, we’ve configured the event to use the MapRunF phone app.
Before you leave home
On your phone download the MapRunF app:
Select “Select Event” and look for SouthAustralia then Rogaine then Mt Lofty Isolation. If you are already at Mt Lofty, the “Events Near Me” should find it.
On the main menu of the app, select “Go To Start”. This will allow you to view the controls (you can try this at home). The controls will be shown over a satellite image.
Exit this screen by selecting the house icon in the top left.
Tips on getting a good GPS reception:
We recommend you test the operation of your phone GPS before you head off on a 6 hour route – finding out the phone has disabled the GPS tracking after 30mins might be disappointing (but hopefully you’ll still have fun playing hide and seek in the bush!) The app developer also recommends you carry a fallback GPS, such as a handheld GPS or GPS watch in case the phone app stops working. The track from this device can be used to upload to MapRunF to give you a score. You don’t need to use the phone app, you can upload your track using just your GPS watch if you would prefer (but you won’t get feedback that you are at the control from your watch).
You can improve your navigation significantly, especially when you’re lost (i.e. cheat) using your phone GPS and google maps. You could in any event where you carry a phone. We always rely on you doing the right thing though. Remember, you’re not playing for sheep stations – the challenge is to do this with a map and compass!
We’re using the MapRunF app to simplify the tracking and scoring of the event. If it doesn’t work for you, or you prefer not to use it, that’s ok. Record your route using a GPS as a GPX track and we can manually score your effort. We’re not 100% sure how the results will live on at the end of this, but we’ll find a way to combine the different scores.
When ready to start
Make sure your phone is fully charged.
There is paid parking at Mt Lofty car park. Be aware that the closing times of the car park are changing during the Covid-19 restrictions: More car park information on the Parks SA website. There is free parking at the entrance gates and on Mt Lofty Summit Road.
The (small) group who have tried this app over 6 hours have found the battery use acceptable when the phone is used in flight mode. You may need to carry a spare battery for a 6 hour event. You might want to turn the media volume up so you can clearly hear the beeps when you are within range of a control.
The Start is control S1, Finish is F1, both at the same location – just east of the fire spotting tower in the Mt Lofty lookout car park (the triangle on the map). Controls are marked with their score (control value is the control number rounded down to the nearest multiple of 10).
Begin about 50m from the start control. Open the MapRunF app. On the main menu of the app, select “Go To Start”. Wait for a GPS lock (GPS accuracy information in the green bar at the bottom of the satellite image) and the red dot to indicate your position. Walk to the event start and make sure the GPS is tracking your position. When you reach the start, the phone will beep to indicate you have punched the control and the timer will start. Your current position will no longer be shown on the app (otherwise it’d be a bit too easy to cheat!) Phone will show time, time remaining, last control, running score, etc.
Feel free to put your phone in your pocket or bag and rely on the paper map. Phone will beep (turn the phone media volume up!) when you ‘punch’ a new control, and the control symbol will change colour. If the phone doesn’t beep, you’re not close enough to the control (GPS should be reasonably accurate – you’ll need to be within 10m of the control on the ground). Most controls will be detected immediately, a few you might have to walk backwards and forwards a little when you know you’re in the correct area.
Complete your course, and return to the start/finish. Turn off flight mode to upload your results.
Since this isn’t an official event, none of the rules apply. Starting with Rule R1 (team of 2 to 5). Because of the way the phone app is configured (primarily for orienteering), this event will be individual. For your safety and fun: we encourage you to stay as a team of 2 or a family group (maintaining appropriate social distancing of course!), remain within earshot of each other. Do not smoke or light fires in the park. Please do not leave any rubbish in our lovely park. Take due care when crossing roads and don’t enter private residential property.
This training event is at your own risk. The only thing we do insist on (although we can’t enforce it) is that you do it on foot. Bikes are not allowed for this one – you’ll clean up the course far too easily!
The app really discourages late returns – you will be deducted 30 (yes, 30!) points per minute you are late. Don’t be longer than 6 hours.
Due to the nature of maps and map reading, safety is the responsibility of the user. The SA Rogaining Association can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions on the map or for events using the map. However, SARA would welcome notice of any errors, omissions or changes.
Please be aware of potential hazards in the area. The area has some very steep regions (often with loose rocks underfoot), rabbit and wombat warrens, loose wire, cliffs, high and steep creek banks. Greenhill Rd forms the northern boundary of the map. It can be busy with fast moving vehicles – please avoid walking along it unless absolutely necessary. Mt Lofty Summit Rd, on the eastern edge of the map, carries local traffic, which can also be fast moving. Be road smart and walk towards oncoming traffic or use the numerous tracks and paths. Note that there are numerous abandoned small foot tracks which may not be marked on the map. Some marked tracks are indistinct. Numerous tracks are used by bike riders. The main Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit track (through the middle of the map) often has a lot of foot traffic, but most other tracks are lightly used.
If bitten by a snake, apply a roller bandage, restrict movement and call 000 for assistance.
Have fun – and keep your social distance!
Results will be posted soon.