The Complete Navigator's Kit

When you start navigational rallying, the suggested equipment consists simply of a clipboard, pencils, a basic calculator and a good digital watch. However, the expert navigators seem to have their own kitbag/ box/ briefcase full of esoteric equipment. This is a list of some of that equipment, and reasons why you might choose to add these tools to your team.

Double Width Clipboard - A custom-made clipboard will allow you to see two 8.5x11 sheets of paper at the same time, so that you can see the current section while working ahead on the next one. You will also want to allow room for your calculators and stop watch. A foam pad under the clipboard raises it to a comfortable level, and saves your knees on rough roads.

Programmable Calculator - A scientific (versus financial) programmable calculator can be programmed to calculate timing given the correct speed and distance inputs. Use a separate basic calculator ($10) to do simple addition or multiplication tasks without interrupting your timing program. Laptop computers are now common with the expert teams, replacing the programmable calculator.

Digital Stopwatch - Attaches to your clipboard with tape or velco to show you the official rally time without having to look at your wrist.

Compass - Saves having to look for the moss on the trees, or the direction of the TV satellite dishes in sections which give you compass directions for turns. Also useful when trying to recover at an End of Section. Consider an electronic compass such as the Wayfinder (they're not affected by car electronics) vs a magnetic compass, which can be. More money, but much more accuracy, too.

Pocket Magnifier - Makes tiny map details easier to read. A must for map based rallies such as Ontario's Automapic Rally.

Markers, Highlighters, Pens and Pencils - Assume that they will be dropped on the floor, break, leak, or run out of ink at a critical moment. Can't have too many of these! Use them to mark off completed instructions or map the route and the checkpoint locations as you go.

Transparent Tape - Once in a while the rallymaster will cut your tulip instructions into tiny individual pieces. Use the tape to stick them down once you have them in order.

Masking Tape - Generally useful for fixing things in a hurry or for taping stopwatches and calculators to your clipboard.

Clockface - A cardboard clockface with moveable hands allows you to double check your turns in clockface sections. (See Clock Face instructions.)

Timing Sheet - Convert speed from kilometers per hour to kilometers per second. Essential for basic timing and a good backup lest your programmable calculator fail.

Extra calculator battery and lamp bulb - These items will only blow in the middle of a rally!

Ruler - Used to measure road segments, scale of maps or to cross out completed instructions. A clear plastic model is best as you can see through it while working on the section; especially helpful on maps.

Protractor - Used to calculate angles of turns. Another Automapic must, and, like the ruler, it should be clear.

Geometry Compass - (two points, no pencil) Used in map sections or for a very accurate measurement of a road segment.

Flexible-Arm Rally Light - mounted either to the car or (even better) to the clipboard, this allows you to focus light on the instructions where you need it. A red gel filter helps the driver by reducing glare, but is not necessary.

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Last Updated: 2001-04-05
Copyright © 2001 Gail L. Walker, reproduction forbidden without written authorization.