Packs and Peaks 6: Rogaine

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Packs and Peaks 6: Rogaine

Get lost in the endurance sport of Rogaine by explaining how it works, what gear you need, and where you can go to get lost racing it.

What the heck is Rogaine?

When I say the word Rogaine, the first thing that might come to mind is a popular hair-care product that helps balding men regrow hair. However, this kind of Rogaine is really just an Australian acronym for a special type of orienteering that can trace its roots back to the 1940s. The name Rogaine is actual the combination of its three founders:

  • Rod Phillips
  • Gail Davis
  • Neil Phillips

By combining their names into Ro-Gai-Ne they created an acronym for “Rogaine”. Now, if you are participating in a rogaine event, you are technically a ‘rogainer’ doing some 'rogaining'. All three of these racers were members of the Surrey-Thomas Rover Crew which organized the world's first rogaine. The name was formally adopted by the Victorian Rogaining Association in 1976 and has since become an endurance sport throughout Australia, Europe, and North and South America.

But it is not a name without controversy.

Because of that conflict with the American Hair Care Product “Rogaine”, many American orienteers have a problem with the name. During the 12th World Rogaining Championship (2014): Black Hills, South Dakota, in 2012, there was an attempt to have the name changed from Rogaining to Map Trekking. Although the overall effort failed, the issue still comes up in orienteering circles and forums every year. Many like the term “Rogaining” and point out the roots of the word pre-dates the hair care product. However, others have resorted to calling it Map Trekking even though Orienteering USA still uses Rogaine as the name of the discipline on their website.

Nothing like an endurance sport with a built-in drama!

Rogaine Links

Until then, I hope you Get Lost Racing!

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