Here are a few more bits and pieces to help you make up your mind about whether to come join us for a frolic through the woods.
Signing Up: Participants can simply show up on the day. Check-in locations will be publicized on the fearsociety facebook page, via a facebook event, and possibly via other local outlets. If you can't find the information you need, have questions, or don't have facebook, just get in touch.
Maps: Maps are 1:50K in scale, but enlarged to be more easily seen and used. They are printed on waterproof and tearproof paper, but will tear once cut/nicked, so don't be too abusive. Each of the winter's events will utilize a different area, with areas being anywhere from around 6 square kilometers in size, up to around 15 square kilometers, depending largely on the challenge presented by the terrain.
Controls: There are at least 10 controls for each rogaine. Most controls with have a punch, but on some occasions other methods of proving you've visited them will be used (such as recording a number or letter, identifying an object, or remembering some fact about the location. The punch card for the rogaine is on the back of your maps. Controls will be labelled either A, I, or E for 'achieved, merit, and excellence.' This indicates the relative (but subjective) difficulty that our setters felt each control presents. This difficulty can be based on things like distance from marked trails, challenge of reading features, and/or the ruggedness of the terrain encountered. Note that some of the Achieved controls may still be beyond your ability to get, and the difficulty you have when going after a control might depend upon the direction of your approach.
Schedule: The general schedule will be that maps will be available from 9:30 am on the morning of the event, and the course will 'open' at 10:00 am. Participants 'start' whenever they want, by signing a sheet and 'logging in' to the course. We ask that participants try to return by 4 pm so we can be back home in time for happy hour. If you're a little late to the start or have a busy day and thus only a few hours to spare, you can simply look for fewer checkpoints.
Results: We will record for posterity everyone's total time and the number of checkpoints they get, but we'll shy away from any sort of formal ranking.
Safety: We recommend that participants, particularly those without prior familiarity of a given area, take extra precautions. These might include participating as part of a group, carrying a GPS in case of getting lost, and/or carrying a PLB. Cell phones will often get reception in some course areas, especially as one moves upward in elevation. In general, participants should be self reliant or should travel with others who are.
Course Length: Our best guess is that a proficient navigator that makes no mistakes and travels well through Fiordland bush could possibly clear most courses in around 3-ish hours. For beginning orienteers with little bush experience, clearing a course in 6 hours is unlikely. But anyone/everyone will hopefully have a good time and learn something.
Annual members will need to bring $10 per map they want. If you aren't yet an annual member but plan to be, might want to bite the bullet and join up.
Day members will need to join as such for $20 for the day. This includes the cost of a map. Day members who later become annual members will have $10 of any day membership fees paid go towards the cost of the annual membership.