Tramp Roulette

Tramp Roulette is a crazy idea dreamt up by Mario and I one day.  The basic idea is you roll dice to decide where to do a trip to.  Then come hell or high water, you have to get there.  You can’t choose another location until you’ve visited that one.  If it takes climbing gear, machetes, chainsaws, planks of wood or whatever, then so be it.  You can’t opt out just because it seems kind of hard — that’s not the Tramp Roulette way.  The exception is that if it is private property or it would be illegal, then you should roll again.  The map is designed to reduce the chance of those sorts of mistakes though, so it should be pretty rare.  You have some control over what area and difficulty of trip you want to do so it fits in with the time you have available.  But a trip can potentially throw you some big surprises and a seemingly small day trip could turn into an overnight trip.  It’s okay to come back and finish the challenge another day though.

The general idea is that it gives you a goal for your trip.  All too often you go for a trip that doesn’t have any goal.  The goal here is so trivial, pointless and potentially immensely difficult though that it’s kind of amusing.  Tramp Roulette will also take you places you never would have considered visiting before, so it’s a good way to see new places.

The map still needs some fine tuning, but here’s the draft Tramp Roulette map. It is intended for printing on A3 or similar sized paper at 300dpi.

How It Works

The Tramp Roulette map is based on the NZTM2000 grid, the same grid system used on all the current New Zealand maps published by LINZ.  NZTM2000 is a transverse mercator map, kind of like UTM maps but tweaked to work better for New Zealand.  The positions are simply coordinates in metres east and north of a particular location.  That makes it really easy to pick random numbers.  We use a 10 sided die to simplify things further.

The process is essentially:

  • Roll dice to select a grid square.  There are 2000 grid squares on the current map.  Each grid square is a kilometre by a kilometre.
  • Roll 3 dice (or a die 3 times) to determine a east position within that grid square.
  • Roll 3 dice (or a die 3 times) to determine a north position within that grid square.
  • The result is one of 2,000,000,000 possible destinations and is a 1m by 1m square that you want to find.
  • You need to get within 10m of the destination to be considered a success.

There are some extra instructions and examples printed on the map.

Useful Resources

  • LINZ topographic maps.  These use the same coordinate system as Tramp Roulette.  They’re free to download, or pretty cheap to buy on paper.
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