Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bristol Stool Chart

Last week I was rogaining with a friend of mine in the Snowy Mountains.  If you aren't familiar with rogaining, it's basically running around the bush for 24 hours trying to find as many orange flags as you can.

At the start of the event you are given a map like this:
The flags are represented by the red circles, each with a different point value shown beside.  All the competitors frantically draw on their maps with a quiver of highlighters and pens, trying to find the optimum route to reach the highest score.  The competitive teams manage to cover 70-80km in 24 hours, which seems reasonable until you realise how few roads there are.  Needless to say, I've not yet been part of a competitive team.

Rogaines are usually held in fairly remote areas, and competitors are expected to bring their own water.  For this particular event (because we were in the mountains), the organisers told us the water in the creeks was fit for drinking, without boiling or filtering.  We had the option of taking purification tablets with us, but we opted for a roll of toilet paper instead, laughingly calling it a 'bad-aid solution'.

About 12 hours into the rogaine we had racked up a tidy score and drank plenty of creek water, but my team-mate's stomach began to protest.  The toilet paper became our most valuable commodity for the next 12 hours.  To give you an illustration, I present the Bristol Stool Chart:

I have it on good authority that my friend's deposits ranked very highly on the chart.  The lesson to take away from this: carry one of these items next time you want to drink from a dirty creek:

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