If you’re planning that grand outdoor adventure you’ve long been dreaming about, we can help you with the country’s best selection of camping and tramping gear. If we don’t have it, chances are it hasn’t been invented yet. What we do have is everything you’ll require from tents, sleeping bags, outdoor clothing, boots, cookers, food, packs, sleeping mats, and, of course, safety gear. For example, an emergency locator beacon in NZ conditions is virtually an essential piece of equipment and we urge you to check one out before setting out. Great for sea and land, they’re real life savers!
There’s something else you can do before embarking on any land-based adventure. That is to ask yourself a few questions about what you’re about to do, what might happen to you during that time, and how you’ll handle any challenging situations that might arise. The right answers will help you formulate a plan for your trip and be prepared for any eventuality. So, without further ado, ask these questions and be totally honest with the answers:
- How long will it take you to complete your trip? If it’s a day hike and you’re without a tent or sleeping gear, can you comfortably finish it during daylight hours? Add extra time for travel, lunch and rest stops when answering this one.
- How difficult is the trip? While you’re confident that you can manage it, is everyone else in the group up to it? Will they slow you down and place the group in danger as a result?
- Do you know exactly which way to go? Or do you just have a rough idea and hope you’ll be able to follow the track and stay safe? A map and a track description will help, as will that locator beacon we discussed earlier.
- What part of the landscape will present the biggest challenges? Are there dangerous parts or difficult sections, and are you fully aware of them?
- Can you still do the trip if the weather is bad? What will you need to do differently? And do you have a Plan B if the weather unexpectedly packs up while you’re out there?
- Do you need to cross a river? Are you all capable of crossing safely? And will you also recognise when a river is unsafe to cross?
- How will you get to the start of your trip? As many tracks start and finish in different places, you’ll need a plan to get back to your transport.
- What clothing and gear do you need? Does everyone in the group have it?
Most search and rescue operations in this country, and most casualties, are caused by a lack of readiness. The answers to these questions will give you a sound preparation so to find the information you need, consult with people who know the area, including the Department of Conservation, local iSites and the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council.