Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ – 3+ adventure travel stars

Rogaining fun

Running through wide open spaces

Rogaining is a team sport (two to five people on each team) that combines long distance cross-country on foot and navigation using a map and compass. It’s one member in the family of sports orienteering. Championship rogaines are 24 hours long, but some events only take two hours.

There are some variations of rogaines that don’t require competitors to heed the normal rules of traveling on foot, and they include the following.

Cyclogaines: They normally take six hours and are conducted in areas with trails well suited for mountain biking.

Snogaines: When the ground is covered in snow the competitors use their skis and snowshoes to get to the checkpoints.

Paddlogaines: these cover the waterways and competitors use just about any human powered watercraft they choose.

Rogaining is a fun outdoor adventure sport that just about anyone can do because you go at your own pace. However, if you want to be competitive you need to have good cardio because this is an endurance sport.

Risk Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ – 3 adventure travel stars

The risks are pretty much what many athletes face in long, cross-country running.

You’re not competing on a well-maintained track, so you have to deal sometimes with difficult terrain and natural hazards that could trip you up and cause you to take a tumble, especially towards the end of the event when fatigue sets in. So, expect some bumps and bruises.

Being out when the weather gets bad can also create some risks, but hopefully you’ll be close to the “hash house” should you need to take shelter from a storm. And this is only a small risk because chances are the event will be postponed if bad weather is expected.

Other than that just be mindful of your footing and hope you don’t twist an ankle or pull a muscle.

Skill & Physical Factors
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ – 3 adventure travel stars

As far as the skill factor is concerned you need to be good at reading your course maps and know how to use a compass.

Keep in mind that just because you can read a road map doesn’t mean you’re going to understand a rogaine map. You have to learn what the symbols mean and you have to be able to tell a swamp from a forest and a hill from a valley. That’s going to take a little bit of study on your part.

If you don’t know how to read a compass then do a quick search on the Internet for some basic instructions before trying to rogaine. And make sure you keep metal objects away from your compass when taking a reading because it will mess it up. Get off by a few degrees one way or the other and you could be in for a long day.

Because rogaines tend to be long endurance sports (especially the championships), you really should get yourself in good shape. Sure, anyone can enter a rogaine, but do you really want to be on foot for hours at a time if you’re 50 pounds overweight?

Fun Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ – 4 adventure travel stars

If you like to get out and run around in the great outdoors then rogaining is a perfect adventure for you. It’s kind of like a game of hide and seek where the people who set up the rogaine hide the checkpoints from you and you use your map and compass to find them.

This sport is gaining in popularity, so if you get good at rogaining you can turn it into an overseas adventure travel excursion because there are rogaining competitions all around the world.

So why not get your family and/or friends together, form a team and look for a rogaine in your area.

14 popular places for rogaining
  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • New Zealand
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United States