Sat, Jan 15 | Ocala National Forest

Operation OCALA

65 +/- miles. 24 hours. The clock is ticking...
Operation OCALA

Time & Location

Jan 15, 2022, 8:00 AM – Jan 16, 2022, 12:00 PM
Ocala National Forest, Rodman Rd, Fort McCoy, FL 32134, USA

About the Event

Distance: 65+ miles

Start Time: 0800hrs 15 Jan 2022 for pre-event brief and kit check

Start Location: Florida Trail Rodman ATV Trailhead, Fort McCoy

Finish Time: 1200hrs 16 Jan 2022

Finish Location: Palermo Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Paisely


The Ocala National Forest is home for Operation OCALA and the route follows the Florida Trail. Operation OCALA is a test of endurance, personal administration, fitness, navigation, and mental strength.


Candidates aim to complete the 65+/- mile route within 24 hours.


Candidates will meet at 0800hrs where they will leave their cars and receive a final brief and kit check. Anything they do not wish to carry with them for the event should be left in their cars. Valuables should not be left in vehicles.

Once the GBF Staff have checked everyone's kit, candidates will be released and navigate south along the world famous Florida Trail and attempt to complete the course within 24 hours.

There will be checkpoint locations every 15+/- miles with water and basic food (bananas, cookies etc). Candidates will also be able to VW (voluntarily withdraw) at these checkpoints.

At the finish (Palermo Pizza), candidates will receive pizza and beer. Candidates finishing in under 24 hours will also earn the highly sought-after 'GBF Operation OCALA' dog tags.

The FIRST place individual or pair will earn the Gold GBF Op OCALA Dog Tag.

Service Support

- Dress. Candidates are reminded this is a 24 hour event covering significant distance. Changes of clothes may be desired and spare socks are essential. Hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended. Wet weather gear is also advised.

- Equipment.

The list below is a mandatory kit list and must be with you on the route. Failure to produce the following items during the final kit check may result in GBF staff refusing to let you start, with no refund in costs.

This list is suggested.

  • GPS
  • MRE(s)
  • Walking poles
  • Water purification tablets
  • Blister kit
  • Bear spray
  • Bear bell
  • Bug spray
  • Pocket knife

We  advise you to have a sleeping bag and spare clothes in your car so you can rest before you drive anywhere.

- Voluntary Withdrawal. Candidates are permitted to withdraw from the event at the checkpoints. Candidates must be aware there is no guarantee of transport back to the start from anywhere other than the finish location. We advise people who are thinking of withdrawing to take a support driver to collect them.

If the GBF vehicle is available, it may collect individuals who have withdrawn once all candidates have passed through that specific checkpoint. This means candidates could be waiting for hours. There will be a $10 fee for individuals requiring transport from checkpoints 1-4 to the start. Transport for successful candidates, from the finish to the start is included.

- Replen. There will be checkpoints every 15+/- miles with water and food where candidates should refill their water.

- Rations. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 x chocolate bars as emergency rations. Candidates' food should be high-energy, high-calorie food you can eat while moving.

- Water. Candidates must carry a minimum of 1 gallon / 4 litres of water. We advise more if the weather is hot.  The use of hydration bladders is encouraged. Water can be topped up at checkpoints.

- Medical. A personal medical kit is required by every candidate. If GBF staff deems a candidate unfit to continue, they will be withdrawn from the event for their own safety. If you require immediate medical assistance at a checkpoint, 911 must be called.

- Transport. Candidates are advised to be dropped off and picked up where possible for safety reasons. A support crew with a vehicle is also advised. Transport for successful candidates, from the finish, back to the start, is included in the entry fee.

- Parking. Candidates who wish to leave their cars are kindly requested to park at the start location. Parking is done at the owner's risk. THIS photo advises you where to park.

- Wildlife. Ocala National Forest is home to wonderful wildlife. Snakes, spiders, bears and much more call the National Forest home. Familiarise yourself with the following documents prior to arriving: Be Bear Aware and Florida Trail

- Route. The rough route to follow is here: Operation OCALA route. You will follow the Orange Blazes on the trees and the Florida Trail. This route on AllTrails is a guide only.

- Checkpoints. There will be FOUR checkpoints on the route, roughly 15 miles apart. If candidates are very far behind the time, they may be informed and advised to stop.





- Prizes. The winning individual or pair will receive a 24k gold plated personalised GBF Dog Tag. Every finisher under 24 hours will receive a personalised GBF Dog Tag.

- Timings.

Sat 15 JAN 22

0800: Final Briefing and Kit Check at Start Point.

0900: Candidates will be released to start.

Sun 16 JAN 22

1200: Operation complete and all individuals and teams must be off the trail.

Command and Signal

GBF HQ - 9419939432

Every team MUST also check in at every checkpoint, even if they don’t wish to stop there.

Weight. The kit you are carrying in your backpack is the priority. Once you have all your gear packed and your water filled, the pack must weigh no less than 25 lbs.

T-shirts: T-shirt orders will be placed on 17 December 2021. Any orders after this date will not receive a t-shirt.

Entrance Fee: $195

Refunds. Refunds will be in the form of a GBF voucher for future events. Refunds within 30 days of an event will not be possible.

Additional Information. The following documents may be useful:

  1. Be Bear Aware - information about bears and storing, disposing of, and carrying food in Ocala National Forest.
  2. Florida Trail - informative PDF about the whole Florida Trail including a map (Ground in General).
  3. Forest Service Interactive Map - find Ocala National Forest and the red/white line heading north to south is the Florida Trail.
  4. Forest Service Map PDF Download - you can download these maps in PDF to produce a mapbook.
  5. Staying Safe Around Bears - What Should I Do if I See a Bear?
  • Operation OCALA
    +$13.65 Tax
    +$13.65 Tax

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