Differences between Rogaining and Orienteering and how to get involved

Differences between Rogaining and Orienteering  and how to get involved
Photo by Jametlene Reskp / Unsplash

Orienteering and Rogaining are two adventure sports that challenge your navigation skills and physical fitness. Both are about finding your way through diverse terrains with the help of a map and compass. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two. In Townsville, the Totally Tropical Orienteering Club is a great way to get involved in orienteering. Here's what you need to know about these exciting sports and how you can participate.

Orientation race
Photo by Jametlene Reskp / Unsplash

What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is a competitive sport where participants use a detailed map and a compass to navigate through a pre-determined course, which is typically set in natural terrains such as forests, parks or hills. Participants must find control points marked on the map in a specific order. The goal is to complete the course in the shortest time possible. Orienteering can be done on foot, skis, or bikes, depending on the type of orienteering.

What is Rogaining?

Rogaining is similar to orienteering but has some key differences. It is a team sport, where teams of two to five people navigate through a course to find as many control points as possible within a set time, usually 24 hours. Unlike orienteering, there is no set route in rogaining, and teams are free to choose their path and strategy. The terrain for rogaining is often more rugged and expansive than that of orienteering, and the map scale is usually smaller.

Differences Between Rogaining and Orienteering

  1. Duration and Intensity: Orienteering events are usually shorter and may last from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Rogaining events, on the other hand, are longer endurance events that can last up to 24 hours.
  2. Team vs. Individual: Rogaining is typically a team event, whereas orienteering can be done individually or in teams.
  3. Course Structure: In Orienteering, participants must visit control points in a specific order. In Rogaining, there is no set order, and teams can choose which controls to visit.
  4. Map Scale: Rogaining maps usually have a smaller scale compared to orienteering maps, meaning that they cover a larger area with less detail.
  5. Strategy: Rogaining often involves more strategic planning, as teams must decide which controls to visit and in what order to maximise their points within the time limit.

Getting Involved in the Townsville Totally Tropical Orienteering Club

If you are in Townsville and want to experience the thrill of orienteering, joining the Townsville Totally Tropical Orienteering Club is a great place to start. Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Visit the Club's Website or Social Media Pages: Find out information about the club, upcoming events, and membership details.
  2. Attend a Club Meeting or Event: Clubs often have regular meetings or introductory events for new members. Attend one of these to meet other enthusiasts and learn more about the sport.
  3. Sign Up for Membership: If you decide that orienteering is for you, sign up for a membership with the club. This often comes with benefits such as discounted entry fees to events and access to training sessions.
  4. Get the Gear: Ensure you have the basic gear required for orienteering, which usually includes a compass, appropriate clothing, and sturdy shoes.
  5. Participate and Learn: Once you’re a member, participate in club events and take advantage of any training sessions or workshops they might offer.

Try it yourself

An avid adventurer racer set up an rogaining course in Celmant State Forest. Download the maps and give it a go yourself.

Embarking on an orienteering or rogaining adventure is not just a test of your physical capabilities but also a wonderful way to connect with nature and like-minded enthusiasts. These skills come in quite handy when you progress into Adventure Races. Whether you're in Townsville or elsewhere, consider giving these sports a try for a challenging and rewarding experience.

Totally Tropical Orienteering Club | Orienteering Queensland clubs
Totally Tropical Orienteering Club ( TTQ)Townsville districtTotally Tropical Orienteering Club (TTOC) is Townsville’s Orienteering and Rogaining Club. A small group of enthusiastic Orienteers who plan and conduct events in and around Townsville...


Totally Tropical Orienteering Club
Totally Tropical Orienteering Club, Townsville, Queensland. 1,638 likes · 39 talking about this · 9 were here. Townsville’s orienteering and rogaining club. A group of local navigation enthusiasts...
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Rogaining – An Adventure Strategy Sport
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Australian Rogaining Association - What is Rogaining
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