Off track for land navigation

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Off track for land navigation

Postby offtrack » Wed 13 Jan, 2021 9:37 am

Hi all,

I am wanting to practice land nav with a topo map and compass. I am wondering if any of you have any places within Victoria that you'd recommend for a beginner?

So far I'm looking at either You Yangs or Lysterfield. Both being that if I get lost it seems like it would be not too far to find a road/track (worst case scenario!). However, I'm thinking You Yangs may be a better place to practice navigation as the bush looks less dense.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby peregrinator » Wed 13 Jan, 2021 5:23 pm

I have not walked in either of those locations. Two others though that I could recommend, also not too far out of town, are Brisbane Ranges and Kinglake National Park.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby north-north-west » Wed 13 Jan, 2021 6:05 pm

I've always thought the best places to start are where there's plenty of open country: Bogongs, for instance. Easy to see landmarks, plenty of tracks and snowpole lines for safety. Fair way from the city, but.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 13 Jan, 2021 6:25 pm

I've walked the Masons Falls circuit several times in the last week in Kinglake NP, and I just follow the track.
But without the track and associated cutting, there's no clear ground.
There are not many places where you can see a landmark to orient yourself to take a bearing.
I think in dense bush, it would be hard to learn how to navigate.
Of course, I'm not a navigation expert, so maybe I've got it wrong.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 13 Jan, 2021 6:56 pm

You Yangs are probably not a bad option. There's obvious peaks, it's fairly open forest so easy to walk through, there's plenty of boulders to make your way around and get back on track and the park is so small it's hard to imagine how it could all go wrong. There's Boneseed absolutely everywhere but it's easy to push through.

The downside is that it isn't the most inspiring place, chockas with people and dogs.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby bigkev » Thu 14 Jan, 2021 6:05 am

Hi offtrack,

I think you are right, the You Yangs and Lysterfield/Churchill would be good places close to Melbourne to start. As Craig say's the advantage of the You Yangs is that it has some prominent landmarks to help your navigation.

Once you build up a bit of confidence then the Brisbane Rangers are also pretty good (as peregrinator says) although be very careful of exposed mine shafts when you are walking off piste over there. Baeng is right, Kinglake is a wall of bushfire regrowth once you are off the tracks so I'd give that a miss.

Most of the reserves up around Castlemaine and Bendigo (Mt Alexander, etc) are good for off track walking however once again be very careful of exposed mine shafts.

Cheers
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby neilmny » Thu 14 Jan, 2021 2:06 pm

Fraser Block Eildon National Park, big hills and great views to be had for your efforts. Lots of handrails too.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby offtrack » Thu 14 Jan, 2021 4:22 pm

Hi all, thank you for your replies. I will definitely check out all of your suggestions. Glad to hear that You Yangs is a decent possibility for practicing land nav, will be doing a day trip there soon. Also will be going camping at Eildon this month, so will be keen to check out Fraser Block!
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby Bill P » Thu 14 Jan, 2021 8:36 pm

Hi Offtrack,

The Vic Rogaine Assoc has a permanent course at Chewton. Download the map and see how you go.

https://vra.rogaine.asn.au/getting-star ... ing-course

Excellent for picking up on the finer terrain details.

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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby Baeng72 » Fri 15 Jan, 2021 5:46 am

Bill P wrote:Hi Offtrack,

The Vic Rogaine Assoc has a permanent course at Chewton. Download the map and see how you go.

https://vra.rogaine.asn.au/getting-star ... ing-course

Excellent for picking up on the finer terrain details.

Bill.

Hey, that's cool!
Looks like a fun way to pass a day.
GetLost have a free Topo map for the Avenza maps App. for that area if one were to become geographically challenged.
There appears to be a Fire Tower, which also may help the geographically challenged (assuming visibility).
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby Bill P » Fri 15 Jan, 2021 12:58 pm

Yes Baeng72,

The checkpoints each have a point value, depending on the difficulty of obtaining it. The fire tower is mid range at 43.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 15 Jan, 2021 5:19 pm

Try the Bogong High Plains. I have done some off pole line walking/ off track walking and off track/ off pole line XC skiing out there and used a map and compass and visible land marks such as Mt. Jim and the Falls Creek ski resort to orientate myself.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 8:14 am

Bill P wrote:Yes Baeng72,

The checkpoints each have a point value, depending on the difficulty of obtaining it. The fire tower is mid range at 43.

I went there yesterday with the wife & kids. We parked (and started) in the wrong place, and so didn't realize for a while why we weren't finding the marker we were looking for. :oops:
After consulting the Avenza Map, we worked out where we were and found the marker hiding off the track.
Then we tried to find another marker, and the map you download is a little incorrect, as it doesn't show a small 4wd track crossing a creek that confuses you with a 4wd track a few hundred meters up.
Anyway, the others were finding it too hot and harder than expected with the ups&downs, so we headed back to the car.
It was fun, for me, so something I'll take a look at again.
Are there any permanent orienteering courses closer to Melbourne?
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby offtrack » Thu 28 Jan, 2021 6:04 pm

Hi all,

Really appreciate the recommendation for Chewton, will be organizing a trip out there in the next month. I recently went to Lysterfield however I was unable to go off track as the bush scrub was too thick. However, I still found it a valuable experience in that I was able to identify surrounding features on the topo map and perform a resection.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby commando » Thu 28 Jan, 2021 7:24 pm

Take a look at Werribee Gorge, navigating to the rockclimbing area near Falcons lookout from the Ballarat railway line car park
you can drop to the river from there , good area.
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 30 Jan, 2021 2:47 pm

Permanent orienteering courses in Melbourne:

https://www.vicorienteering.asn.au/reso ... t-courses/
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Re: Off track for land navigation

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 30 Jan, 2021 6:40 pm

ChrisJHC wrote:Permanent orienteering courses in Melbourne:

https://www.vicorienteering.asn.au/reso ... t-courses/

Cheers!
I probably would've sniffed at practising in suburban parks, but given my less that stellar performance at Chewton, it's probably the best place to practise the basics.
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