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Camp Tamarancho

Date: (Sun.) Oct. 10, 2021
Location: Fairfax, CA
Event Director: - 510.681.6181
Course Setters: Anthony Riley, Greg Callas, Rex Winterbottom
Type: B; Definite, unrestricted event — there will be Beginner (White & Yellow), Intermediate (Orange), and Advanced courses

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

Last-Minute Notes

Brown #1, Green #1, Red #14, Blue #1: More of a route-choice leg; the most direct route is prohibitively vegetated. Since we built the courses on loops, sorry about Brown Green and Blue sharing #1.

Parking: Back into your space so your car faces into the road. This is for fire safety / evacuation.

And once again, the road coming up is fine for low-clearance vehicles, but still exercise caution and read the road.

Help: We have control pickup covered. We have needs for Starts, Registration support for Steve, and Beginner's Clinics. Please text me at 510-681-681 or email .

BTW, Cell coverage is good at Tamarancho nowadays. Even for me, a T-Mobile/Sprint customer.

Thanks, Rex

Thanks to Rex Winterbottom, AJ Riley, and Greg Callas, the event at Camp Tamarancho on October 10th is definitely "on"!

Rex will be Event Director (with Scott Aster supporting), and will be a Course Setter along with AJ and Greg.

There will be Beginner (White & Yellow), Intermediate (Orange), and Advanced courses.

Despite dire warnings in past years, don’t worry about how low your car is to the ground. Just go slow​—​the road is in the best shape we’ve seen it. Rex drove his low-clearance hatchback with no problems.

What is Orienteering?

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! You can explore a course by yourself or go as a team with your friends. You will get a highly detailed orienteering map, probably unlike any map you have seen before. The map will have a lot of detail on it, such as fences, boulders, lone trees, vegetation boundaries, and anything else you might see. Your course will be printed on the map.

Orienteering is easy to learn, a challenge to master, and incredibly fun!

COVID-19 Precautions

We will be following the Marin County health ordinance guidelines on the day of the event. That generally means that we can hold the event without social distancing and wearing masks. Nevertheless, we should all be cognizant of the ongoing risk of contracting COVID-19, even for those who have been fully vaccinated. Please stay home if you are feeling unwell in any way. If you are not vaccinated (and possibly even if you are vaccinated), we ask that you wear a mask while you are in the assembly area, including at the Start and the Finish.

Location At The Venue

Registration, clinics, and Start and Finish will be located at Staff Hill, a 200-meter walk west of the parking area. (The walk will be longer if you end up in the overflow parking area.)


The Boy Scouts charge the club a fee of $5 per car, so please carpool if at all possible. Individual cars will not be charged​​—​​this is just a fee they invoice us for at the end of the day.
Also, please remember to back into your parking space when you get there! This is a rule they have to expedite an evacuation if ever needed due to wildfire or other crisis.


  9:00 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners clinic instruction (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts open
                  2:00 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins
Note: At on-site registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here [PDF/12KB]).

You can register and start on courses anytime during the open times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be “punctual” at 9:00 (you can if you want, but please don't show up early and expect to be served).

Beginners clinics are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the Beginner (White) course.

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, even if you don't complete your course. We need to account for all participants, because otherwise we must organize a search party for you.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants (at a distance?)!

Registration and Costs

Online registration is open here ( (Please register in advance if you can. That will be very helpful to the event-day registration staff.)

Online payment is accepted (but not required) during online registration. If you prefer, you can register online and pay at the event. Clicking the “Pay Using PayPal” button allows you to pay with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account. (You do not need to have [or create] a PayPal account in order to use this feature. You can choose the “Check out as guest” option.)

Online registration will close on Saturday, October 9, at 6:00 PM PDT.

You can check your status, and see who has registered, here ( (but keep in mind that others will register at the event).

At on-site registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here [PDF/12KB]).

The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior on Beginners (White) and Advanced Beginners (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on Beginners and Advanced Beginners courses
  $5 for each junior on Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (BrownBlue) courses  
$15 for each adult member on Intermediate and Advanced courses
$20 for each adult non-member on Intermediate and Advanced courses
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one; you'll need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  


More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/12KB), which you can print and fill out in advance to save some time at the event. (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.)

What to Bring

For the Beginner (White) course, comfortable outdoors attire is fine, but you should wear sturdy running or hiking shoes. Hiking boots with an aggressive tread are recommended for the Advanced Beginner (Yellow) course.

Due to the dry weather, matted leaves, and loose soils, we recommend O-shoes or shoes with cleats on the Intermediate (Orange) and Advanced (Brown through Blue) courses.

We recommend long pants and gaiters on all the courses, except White.

A compass is not necessary, but can be very helpful. We have compasses available for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so each entry/team needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don’t have your own, you can rent one at registration for $5 (note that there’s a significant charge for a lost rental). (Use of the “E-punch” system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

Note: The controls will be set up to respond to SPORTident SIAC “touchless” fingersticks. That type of fingerstick might be available for rent at the event, but note that the charge for a lost SIAC stick will be $80, not the amount shown on the entry form.

Venue Facilities

A benefit of being at a Boy Scout camp is that there might be showers available for those who want to clean up before they head home!

Tree-shaded picnic tables and piped water welcome all to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with us after your courses.


The course details are below.

    Navigation     Course     Length     Climb   Controls
    Beginner       White      1.0 km      40 m       9  
                   Yellow     1.7 km      95 m      12
    Intermediate   Orange     3.4 km     195 m      11  
    Advanced       Brown      2.4 km     175 m       8  
                   Green      3.2 km     255 m      10
                   Red        5.1 km     360 m      18
                   Blue       6.6 km     450 m      22

Beginners should be aware that the lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the “optimum route” (i.e., in the Course Setter’s opinion), without regard for any descending. Because you won’t travel in straight lines, and might not follow the optimum routes, your actual distance and climb will be somewhat more than what is shown above, and will depend on your route choices (and any errors you make).
Note: The numbers for the Brown course were revised early on October 5th.

Water: The Orange and Advanced courses use loops​—​the “hub” checkpoint will have water and cups.

Map and Terrain and Hazards

Please note that no map corrections will be made, so check this out. Vegetation, in general, has gotten “lusher”, especially on the east half of the map. There are more thickets in some places. White forest can be light-greenish. Scotch broom is the culprit in many places.

For Orange and Advanced courses, some minor trails are overgrown and hard to follow.

Poison oak can be fairly well present, but only in certain areas. The courses avoid it mostly, but be on the lookout because it will pop up on your way. (There are photos and comments here. Washing clothes and shoes and bathing exposed skin with dish-washing soap or a commercial product such as Tecnu is recommended to remove the irritant oil.)

The Orange and Advanced courses require shoes with aggressive traction. There are some pretty steep slopes to navigate on Green, Red, and Blue. The ground is hard and dry, and some slopes can be slippery or loose, too.

Ticks: Ticks are found in this area and may carry Lyme disease. Be sure to check yourself after completing your course.

Non-Hazard Items

Horses always have the right of way. If you encounter a horse, you must stop running and respond to the rider’s direction.

Out of Bounds

Please be sure to honor the out-of-bounds areas​—​otherwise our ability to use this venue could be jeopardized. Do not go in fenced-in bounded areas, or areas marked on the map with purple hatching, or campsites, or camping areas. Course legs are designed to take you around these places.

Help makes the event happen​—​Please volunteer

Thanks to Steve Haas, Scott Aster, Jeff Lanam, and Graham Brew for volunteering so far. We need more for this event to work. Please contact to tell him how you will be able to help at the event.

We need help with Starts, Control Pickup, Beginners Clinics, Hospitality, Setup, Takedown, Registration, and possibly to support Jeff with E-punch.

Thanks to AJ Riley and Greg Callas for their support on the course design and setting. They and Rex did the field work this weekend.

Thanks to Bob Cooley for doing the map printing, and to Jay Hann for equipment transfer.

Driving Directions

The approximate coordinates of the parking area are 37.9943,-122.6117.

There are several ways to get to Fairfax from Highway 101 in Marin. The quickest route is to take the Central San Rafael exit (#452) and turn left (west) at the second light at Third street. Follow this road for about 3 miles (it changes name three times on the way) until it intersects with Sir Francis Drake Blvd in San Anselmo. Bear right onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd and stay on it until you reach downtown Fairfax.

Continue westbound on Sir Francis Drake past downtown for another quarter mile, and look for a green highway sign that says “Camp Tamarancho”. Turn left at this sign onto Olema Road, and continue to follow the subsequent green Camp 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.

Note: Once Iron Springs Road stops being paved, travel is slow​—​about 10 mph. There’s about 2 miles of that. It’s narrow, so care must be taken with vehicles approaching you, and the road is popular with mountain bikers. “It’s in much better shape surface-wise than I ever remember, I drove my low-rider hatchback, and there were just a few lumpy places to be extra careful crossing.” – Rex

Carpooling is encouraged as always.

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