Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit as many checkpoints as possible in twenty-four hours. Teams travel entirely on foot, navigating by map and compass between checkpoints in terrain that varies from open farmland to hilly forest. A central base camp provides hot meals throughout the event and teams may return at any time to eat, rest or sleep. Teams travel at their own pace and anyone from children to grandparents can experience the personal satisfaction that comes from cross-country navigation at their own level of competition and comfort. One feature of rogaining is the opportunity for night navigation and the extra challenges that this involves. Although rogaines are defined as being twelve hours or longer, the classic rogaine is the twenty-four hour event.
The sport is active in Australasia and North America and there are several contacts on the O-net if anyone is travelling and wishes to go rogaining in either sub-continent.
Rogaining developed as a sport in its own right in the early 1970's, but 24-hour walks had been held since at least 1947.
Rogaining is a team activity for people of all ages and levels of fitness. It provides competitors with navigational challanges, a way of enjoying the outdoors, and a sense of achievement.
Once you've started an event, the parts of the course you see are entirely up to you and your team members. Some teams may cover more than 60km in a 12 hour event or over 100km in an event of 24 hours duration. However, many others may walk only 10km and achieve just as much satisfaction. The enjoyment comes from finding your way around a course that you have chosen and navigating back to the finish.
At each event a 'hash house' provides food and drink for competitors. These refreshments are included in the entry fees for the event. Teams may return to the 'hash house' at any time during the event and as often as they like for food, rest sleep, and conversation.