If You Go Down to the Woods this night you're sure of a big surprise......
I took part in this event last year with another group and it was an exceptionally good night bumbling through the woods, and along the paths in search of the various check points in order to complete this all night orienteering-style / map reading event.
This is an annual event organised by a local Epping organisation. The Rally follows a route through Epping Forest along a variety of paths, tracks and trackless scrub, including holly.
There is a choice of two events, you will be asked to find either five or ten checkpoints located within the forest. The final checkpoint will be at High Beach Village Hall where breakfasts are served.
The checkpoint locations require you to apply some grey matter first as there are three options and only one will have a tented checkpoint. The link shows you the type of clues you get, which then have to be matched with the map. http://www.efog.org.uk/RR_2012_Results_Form.pdf
Routes cover approximately six or twelve miles respectively, 'as the crow flies'! The route is based on a map specially prepared for the Rally, which covers all of Epping Forest used on the night.
The checkpoints are tents, where someone is waiting to sign your card, but they are often hidden in the bush and with dim lights to guide you. But you will have been provided with an 8 figure grid reference to guide you. The skill is to navigate your way using your compass, pacing and using the known features. But its all made that little bit harder given its dark.
The longer of the two challenges requires you to complete 10 check points, getting 7 out of ten is good. Most people aim for completing 10 check points.
The teams need to be a minimum of 2 person and a maximum of 4, ideal size is 4 as this aids the location of the checkpoints.
We will group people into suitably keen teams with at least one keen and able navigator, so don't worry if your navigation is not yet top notch. It will certainly be better after an evening spent in the forest.
I'll also be organising some other map reading and orienteering events throughout the year if you want to improve your skill or simply learn more about the 'dark art'
There will be other Meetup Groups attending, there were at least two last year. It would be good to have a few teams from AAA taking part.
The start is located very close to the King's Oak in the heart of the forest, we will meet here and discuss tips and tricks to aid navigation. This is also a short walk from the finishing point so a suitable location to leave your cars etc.
Teams are given an official start time. These will be known once we have entered our teams and then advised to you closer to the event.
Its approximately a 30 min walk from Loughton Tube station which is on the Central Line
The following are the essential bits of kit you'll require:
- Head torch (plus spare batteries)
- Water proof jacket
- Walking boots or running shoes (if you propose running)
- Compass (it aids navigation considerably)
- Map case (if you have one)
- Warm hat and gloves
- Hi viz garment of some kind or reflective items and you will be crossing roads at some points
- Snacks and drinks to get you through the evening (A cooked breakfast is available at the end and a refreshment point halfway round serving hot drinks)
We will try an co-ordinate transport in advance. It is possible to get there via tube with the help of fellow group members in cars collecting people the short distance.
Once we know who is attending etc I will post more details
Given it November its likely to be wet underfoot, although last year I found it quite dry on the whole as there are plenty of good paths.
Cost £10 per person
There is a cost for the event, this is charged by the organisers and includes funds for their charity work and the maps etc.
The Roding Rally entry fee is £8.00 per person: this includes a £0.50 donation to a charity, and hot/cold drinks at a refreshment point along the route and on arrival at the finish.
Hot dogs and chocolate bars may be purchased at the refreshment point. Breakfast (including a vegetarian option) will be available from 4.30 am at High Beach Village Hall at a cost of £3.00 if ordered in advance using the Entry Form.
I have included the PayPal transaction fee in the total price, any surplus will be used to buy extra maps for the group.
If you would like breakfast at the end just add £3 to your paypal transaction. There is not always the option to add a breakfast on the night.