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Marin Camping Weekend

Camp Tamarancho

Date: Jun. 29 - 30, 2013
Location: Fairfax, CA
Event Director: - 415.456.8118
Course Setters: Bud Laird, Randy Franklin, Andrew Peterson
Type: C; 2-loop relay course for pairs and solos on Saturday, Scramble on Sunday

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Please join us for the first annual Marin Camping Weekend at Camp Tamarancho! This event encompasses a two-loop “Classic” point-to-point event on Saturday, which can be either a relay or run individually. On Sunday will be the third event of our 2013 Wilderness Scramble Series.

Come either day, or both, and plan to experience Tamarancho as you've never experienced it before!

As a bonus, camp out Saturday night under the stars in the middle of the camp (see below). Flat ground, some platforms provide great tent locations, and there is running water, bathrooms, and even showers! Bring your own food, or coordinate with others. Unfortunately, due to fire danger, we won't be able to have a campfire, but that won't prevent people from swapping tall tales, recounting the day's foibles and triumphs, and toasting a marshmallow or two ... around a camp stove.

Camp Tamarancho is a Boy Scout camp in the hills west of Fairfax. The camp has varied terrain ranging from open, rolling, grassy hills and meadows; redwood groves; steeper, mixed forest; and very few rock features.

Awards will be given out both days for multiple categories, and there will be plenty of food and drink to enjoy after you complete your courses.

The current forecast is for hot weather this weekend, so wear a hat, sunscreen, and prepare to have a great time!


The events on both Saturday and Sunday will be centered on Staff Hill, which is located about a 300-meter walk from the main parking area.

The Saturday event will have three afternoon mass starts. Here is the Saturday schedule:

12:00 noon: Registration/Check In
12:15 AM: Instruction clinics for beginners
  1:00 PM: 1st mass start for people running both courses
  1:15 PM: 2nd mass start for people running one course
  1:30 PM: 3rd mass start for two-person relay teams
   TBD PM: Course closes​—​everyone must be back by then
   TBD PM: Award ceremony
We might move the last two starts back a bit if needed, but you should be ready to roll by the times above.

The Sunday Scramble is also a mass-start event, so be on time! Here is the Sunday schedule:

  9:00 AM: Registration/Check In
  9:15 AM: Map distribution and pre-race instructions
  9:25 AM: Instruction clinic for beginners
10:00 AM: Mass start for everyone
11:30 PM: Cut-off time for 90-minute category
12:00 PM: Award ceremony for 90-minute category
  1:00 PM: Cut-off time for 3-hour category
  1:30 PM: Award ceremony for 3-hour category
  2:00 PM: Course closes​—​everyone must be back by then
Note that you can start after the 10 AM mass start if you like, as long as you are back by 2:00.

Saturday Event

The Saturday event will offer point-to-point courses. We are trying out a new, challenging event format utilizing two classic orienteering courses. You may choose to do either of the courses, or both back to back. The two courses can be run solo, or as a two-person relay. One of the courses will be of intermediate (Orange) level technical difficulty, while the other will be of advanced (Brown) difficulty. More information is provided in the Saturday Course Setter's Notes.

We will have a three mass starts for this event:

  1. The competitors running the combined course (both loops) have the first mass start. They will receive both maps (Orange and Brown courses), and begin their run on either course, their choice.
  2. Less experienced and (self decided) "more mature" runners will start later, in a second mass start, and will attempt either course. They will receive only the map for that course.
  3. The third mass start will be for any two-person relay teams, and for any late comers who missed one of the first two mass starts.

The courses will start and finish by Staff Hill, and the last couple of legs will be visible for spectators to watch the exciting action. This will provide great opportunities for watching the competition between participants.

The mass starts will begin about 12 noon (first mass start). Due to a conflict with an Adult Scouter training exercise finishing up on Saturday, start times may change slightly. The final mass-start times will be posted at least a week before the event.

The maps for the Saturday event will be printed at a scale of 1:10,000.

Sunday Event

The Sunday event will be a Wilderness Scramble as described below. The course will be set by two experienced adventure racers who are very familiar with the camp and very excited about the course design. More information is provided in the Sunday Course Setters' Notes.

What is a Scramble?

It's simple: 30+ checkpoints are scattered over a custom-made, detailed trail map of Camp Tamarancho. With your team of 1 to 5 people, find as many checkpoints as you can in 90 minutes or 3 hours. Learn more about the 2013 Wilderness Scramble Series here.

What's It Like?

Is the Tamarancho Scramble beginner friendly? The answer is "Yes!" However, be aware that it will be hilly in places, and you should be open to venturing off-trail. It is helpful to use contours to navigate, and our instruction clinic will cover the basics of topographic map navigation.

You might not need expert skills to participate in the Tamarancho Scramble, but three hours of trekking cross country through tall grass can be pretty physical. If that sounds like a lot, you might want to try the 90-minute option. If you have younger children, you might consider some gentler events on our Schedule.

Teams & Awards

The Tamarancho Scramble is a team event, so invite your friends! Teams can include 1–5 people. Yes a "team" of one will count, but we recommend this only for experienced participants over 18. If you need help finding a team, feel free to utilize the BAOC (if you are a list member) and/or the Facebook page (, or contact Rex Winterbottom .

In addition to an award for the overall champions, there will be special recognition for various team compositions: all female, all male, and mixed. We will also recognize a masters class (all members over 45) and a family/junior class (teams with youth members 16 and under).


All teams must carry a whistle for emergency signaling. You can get one for free at Registration.

Bring a watch, so you will know how much time is left.

It is possible to go off-trail, so pants, shoes with good traction, and gaiters (if you have them) are recommended. Water bottles and a small first-aid kit are good ideas.

Tamarancho also has some poison oak ( It's avoidable, but do take precautions. After the event, exposed clothing should be washed normally, and exposed skin can be washed in cool or lukewarm (but not hot) water with dishwashing soap or poison-oak specific products sold in stores. You might want to wash your skin immediately after the event if you're particularly sensitive or had a significant encounter.

Each team member will be provided a map. You may use any additional navigational aids that you desire. This includes compass, altimeter, and GPS. Compasses can be rented for $1 each.

The SPORTident electronic punching system will be used to record routes. Each team will need one e-stick. If your team doesn't have its own e-stick, you can rent one for $3.


In addition to the course fees described below, the normal optional fees of $1 for compass rental and $3 for e-stick rental will apply both days.

Saturday Event

The standard advanced-course fees will apply: $10 for BAOC members, $15 for non-members, $5 for juniors (aged 12–20).

Sunday Scramble

Please note that the Scramble does not follow the standard prices for BAOC events. The prices for the Scramble will be as follows:

$20 – For first team member, preregistered ($30 for day of entry)
$10 – Each additional team member, preregistered ($15 for day of entry)
$5 – Each additional youth member (Aged 12–20)
Free – Youth under 12, must be accompanying adult

The preregistration discount ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, June 26. See the Registration FAQ below for more information.


Preregistration is open. Preregister before 11:59 PM on Wednesday, June 26, to avoid the higher day-of-entry fees for the Scramble!

Note, however, that preregistration is not required​—​you will be welcome at the event even if you haven't preregistered.

Scramble Registration FAQ

There might be some confusion about the registration process, and so we've compiled this little FAQ. This is just about registration; for the fees and the latest information on the actual orienteering, see above.

Q: Do I need to preregister?
A: You don't have to, but you really should because it will save you money! The cost is $10 less for the first team member, $5 less per person for the rest of your team (other than juniors).

Q: What is the deadline to preregister?
A: 11:59 PM on the Wednesday before the event.

Q: Does the whole team have to preregister?
A: If you indicate the number of people on your team when you preregister, then that many people on your team are considered preregistered. Otherwise, fellow team members will pay the higher day-of-event fee. It does no harm for everyone on the team to preregister.

Q: Is the fee the same for the 90-minute category as for the 3-hour category?
A: Yes, the fee is the same.

Q: Is there a discount for BAOC members?
A: No.

Q: Do we pay when we preregister?
A: No, there isn't a payment system tied into the event preregistration, so you will pay on at the event.

Q: Do we have to turn in forms and money for the whole team at once?
A: We really prefer it if you do.

Q: Does every team member need to sign the waiver on the registration form?
A: Yes, every participant will need to sign the waiver. We are working on a special Wilderness Scramble registration form so that you only need to fill out one piece of paper.

Q: Will self-registration be available?
A: Not for this event.


Note: The camping location has been moved!

The resident ranger at Tamarancho doesn't want us to be on Staff Hill due to some maintenance issues Saturday night. Therefor, the camping location is now the Twin Cities site, located about 300 meters south of the main parking lot (about the same distance as Staff Hill). The camp location includes a large A-frame structure, picnic tables, toilets, running water, and incredible views of San Pablo bay and the surrounding terrain, with good views of Mt. Diablo, the east bay, and even Vallejo on clear days. The showers on Staff Hill can still be used, but will require a walk there and back from the Twin Cities location.
A bonus for the new location is that campers can drive right to the site and park very close to wherever you choose to set down your sleeping bag.

To camp Saturday night, please preregister. The cost is $10 per person. This allows you full access to the site, with picnic tables, piped water, toilets, and showers. You just need to bring something to sleep in or on, clothes to keep warm (it could be foggy at night), a flashlight, cooking equipment, and food to eat. If you don't want to cook, there are many great restaurants in downtown Fairfax, at the bottom of Iron Springs Road, a short drive or moderate hike from the main parking lot. If it is a clear night, star gazing is excellent, and the extensive, open meadows southeast of Staff Hill lend themselves very well to a night hike.

Unfortunately, the scout ranger has banned open fires, so only camping stoves will be allowed.

Driving Directions

From Highway 101 in Marin, take Sir Francis Drake Blvd until you reach downtown Fairfax. Continue westbound on Sir Francis Drake past downtown for another quarter mile, and look for the green highway sign that says "Camp Tamarancho". Turn left at this sign onto Olema Road, and continue to follow the subsequent green camping signs until you reach Iron Springs Road. Head up Iron Springs Road for two miles until it ends at the camp entrance. Continue on the camp road to parking.

Carpooling is encouraged as always.

Note: You must park facing outward (i.e., back into your space).

Warning: Iron Springs Rd is a narrow, winding, partially-paved road with lots of small to moderately sized potholes. A car with normal clearance can make it if driven carefully. Low-riders and sports cars are not advised. Please allow at least 15 minutes for these last two miles.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event.