by Alain Hoffmann
Other forms of Roadbooks
Today with the spreading of colour copiers and cheap colour printers this is an option.
Many people who have no problems at all with the tulip-style roadbooks described before are completely lost when it comes to map reading. Here you can see the difference in navigation skills.
I don't recommend using black and white copies from standard copiers. They are OK for you to mark your road on or even for the emergency letter (more on that later) but they are not suitable for this. Look at the picture below. Do you see any differences between tracks, power lines and field boundaries?
In the picture on the left you see the blue dots marking the right way. Still not very clear, eh? So you see the importance of using the best available maps. The one I took here was at 1:50.000, way to small scale to show all the tracks.
It's also quite obvious that you will need large amounts of DIN A4 or A3 copies, the later not being easy to handle in a moving car.
An nice touch however is if you put an small map part into your tulip-style roadbook. The most problematic place is always the jump from one style to the other so make sure they can't go wrong here.
By Compass navigation
Here you replace the tulip-style either by the same drawing but without an arrow pointing to the right direction (A and B) or you ...
...don't make a drawing at all (C). The last one is the hardest as you have not many clues on being still on the right track. Making an compass roadbook requires much more time as you have to get out of the car 20 metres from the situation, walk there and take careful measurements. You MUST leave the car or the magnetic filed of this big lump of iron will make your readings absolutely worthless.
Compass navigation is unsuitable for tarmac roads and it takes much time. The error margin is also quite high. I would recommend using only a few of those boxes among ordinary tulip styles.
By GPS navigation
With the upcoming of GPS more people have them but still not all. Though I have already encountered some roadbooks who incorporated GPS co-ordinates. It's basically the same as navigating with a compass except you don't have to get out of the car. My opinion: Best used scarcely.
This is by far the most difficult to make and to drive. Even the smallest error can send people into complete and utter despair. Well, it's up to you. I do it sometimes but only in special locations and with experienced participants.
The principle is really easy: It shows the roads and tracks you DON'T use. Let me explain: The same in standard tulip will look like this below:
A. You leave one unsurfaced track to your right.
B. You leave one to your left. This means you turn right. When turning you see that you left the main track left. Got the idea?
C. You leave one tarmac road to your right. If this means you must turn left- do so.
D. 2 unsurfaced tracks join the main road.
E. One track left and one right. You continue straight on.
F. You leave one tarmac to your left. This means you must take the first possibility to the right. In this case an barely visible path.
G. You leave 3 tracks to your right. Got now the idea?
H. You leave one footpath to your left
J. You leave one track to your left and are suddenly on tarmac again.
Do you see where the problem lies? Well, If you miss a single situation or if you mistake an driveway for a path you are lost. The only way to get out again is to get back to the last sure point which is generally the start and do it over again.
When drawing you are not permitted the slightest mistake too. You also need special terrain for doing this. It can't be done in towns or villages. It CAN be done on rural tracks. Forests are difficult as sometimes tracks appear when logging operations take place. And you should avoid tarmac as participants on this type of roadbook have a tendency to drive very slowly , stop without warning and turn off without looking behind. Quite dangerous.