Setting up night navigation exercise

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 22:49
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Hi all

Anyone had any experience setting up a night navigation exercise, and able to give me some pointers? I want to set one up as part of my 40th birthday bash in Oodnadatta on June 12th.

Thanks
John
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Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 00:02

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 00:02
Will you even be in any condition to navigate after your 40th? Not to mention at 40 the eyesight isn't so good at night anymore! Have a good one.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 01:03

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 01:03
LOL very funny!

That's why the night nav exercise is at the start of the festivities, while it's still safe. That's if anyone can give me some useful hints :-)

Cheers
John
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Reply By: Willem - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 07:23

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 07:23
Hi John

We used to have inter club night runs in Darwin.........sometimes in the Wet Season. Some people would only find their way home a day later lol

The worst thing of a night run is that if you have misread the instructions at one turn off then the whole thing is wrong from there onwards and you could end up in whoop whoop...or down a ditch in the dark! It happens!

With GPS navigation it may be made easier. Email me and let me know how you want to plan it and hopefully I will be able to give you some pointers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 10:17

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 10:17
Thanks Willem

I'll email you when I get a minute.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 08:13

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 08:13
John I have been watching Bonz' copy of the Desert Challenge and there is a night navigation exercise in the event, filmed in the video. When you catch up, I am sure he can give you a few pointers as he is a marshall in the event - was last year and will be this year.
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 10:18

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 10:18
Thanks John

I'll be seeing him in just over a week, so I'll make sure I ask about it then.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: muzzgit (WA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 16:59

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 16:59
I competed in a night navigation 4wd rally type thing a few years back. It lasted all night, was supposed to be 4 stages, but the 3rd stage didn't finished until 5 in the morning so they cancelled the last stage. It seems that everyone got lost at some point, but some never found their way back until daybreak.

You have to remember that not everyone can read a map !!!!
But these people will still insist they are a good navigator so, when you have worked out the run, get someone else with no prior knowledge of the route to go through it during the day and see how they go. They should do it twice and be timed. Add 20% to this time and you will have the average time for the real thing.

Include a points reward for answering questions or collecting certain items. Base some of those questions on the tracks. This is a good way of catching cheats who take shortcuts. You will need marshalls at several points throughout the run, firstly to time each car or team, so you can penalise anyone going too fast, but also for a safety precaution.

I missed two tracks because they were absolutely impossible to see at night. Although this was part of the plan to see who would back up and have another look, the alternative route for those that missed it was poorly thought out and many ended up hopelessly lost, not to mentionbleepoff.

Luckily for me, my navigator insisted we go back for another look, and we found our way, collected most of the clues and answers, and won the damn thing.

Any mistakes will be amplified at night, so you need to mention as many landmarks on the track as possible.
EG: " VL at fork in road (veer left), track narrows, KSO (keep straight on) passing fallen tree on left" Give everyone something to confirm they're on the right track.

Two vehicles together as a team, with each team on a seperate channel on the UHF is great fun. Make sure teams have sufficient time gaps between them when starting.

The best advice I could give from a participants perspective is;
1. don't be afraid to stop and work out the map or clues, even if others pass you.
2. don't follow anyone else. If they're lost, who knows how far back they stuffed up.
3. don't be afraid to back-up to the last point and go over things again.
4. Let anyone behind you go past. Some may try to cheat by following you if you appear to know where your going, or, you may not be as fast as others, but you have no say in how fast they go.
AnswerID: 104033

Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 21:55

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 21:55
Thanks muzzgit

Some good pointers there. I hope to be able to put together something interesting and fun for those who get here on the Sat night June 11th.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: old-plodder - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 19:44

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 19:44
Have been in a few night runs and written a few for different clubs.
OK, I have assumed you know nothing about night runs, so please just jump through the stuff you all ready know!

1. What level of experience do the people have? Mian point is that they are a challenge and FUN. Too hard for the runners and it is not appreciated.
2. There are a few types, but first remember that it is illegal to race on the road, so do not set tight times. I sometimes set generous times so that people know when to pull the plug on a section and head for the next.
3 basic types i know of (a) pure navigation
(b) navigation with points being decided by questions.
(c) navigation with novelty items to collect , points for items.

3. Various navigation types of description but simplest is 1st right 2nd left etc.
4. Break into sections with check points listed.
5. Put in street names etc every now and then. Less for more difficult runs.
6. Try and run in loops so you can sit at check points and watch people go past and you or your friends don't have to travel too far.
7. Roughly work it out on a map or UBD first, then run it yourself to fine tune it.
8. Try and get a friend to double check it.

Have a good place to start and finish like a cafe. Part of the fun is listening to every one go through thier mistakes and hassles.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you want more info.

Also, allow people at least twice as long as it takes you to drive it. After all you know where you are going:-).
AnswerID: 104047

Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 22:00

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 22:00
That's great, old plodder

Not much by way of street signs out here, but I reckon we can find enough track markers to sort something out. Start and finish will be the campsite at the Claypan, where my party will be, so should be good for post mortem campfire chats.

Thanks for your input.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 22:02

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 22:02
Thanks all for your feedback. I now have some idea of how to proceed, and I will see if Bonz can spare an hour to have a look at the area when he's here in a week or so.

Cheers
John
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AnswerID: 104064

Reply By: muzzgit (WA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 23:45

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 23:45
One last thing. Use coloured serveyors tape to mark difficult or dangerous terrain. And let people know if they will need to let down tyres. If someone is stuck or bogged, make it compulsory for the following vehicles to stop and help.
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