First trip of the season? Freshen up
19th October 2022|4min
Time to dust off the gear and get outdoors again! If you're feeling a bit desk-bound, emerging from your winter hibernation or trying out a new area to explore.... below you'll find some helpful info to help you shake things up and get cracking for the long weekend and beyond!
Consider your destination options
If you’re set on a backcountry hut or keen to explore some local tracks, find something that suits the conditions and most importantly, you and your group's abilities.
- Do some research into your chosen track, there’s plenty of info online, at your local DOC Visitor Centre or ask friends who have previously walked the track. Ask them things like:
- How long did the track take you?
- Was there cellphone signal?
- Was there river crossings?
- What were the track conditions?
Conduct a gear review
Add new items to your kit or upgrade old pieces of equipment from last season.
- Re-waterproof your wet weather gear and footwear – watch our video
- Test your batteries for head torches and check your cooking equipment is still working
- Lay out and shake out your tent or shelters to check everything is good to go
- Consider the different types of outdoor comms devices available or if you're sorted, register your emergency beacon at beacons.org.nz
- You can add all these items + more to your trip plan at PlanMyWalk.nz
Check what's going on out there
Spring weather can be changeable and your favourite tracks could have changed over the wet winter.
- Check the weather forecast for your region now and continue to monitor this right up until you leave. Learn to understand the weather and remember you can simply reschedule your trip or go elsewhere if it doesn't look good. Rain leading up to a trip can affect creeks and river crossings drastically.
- If you’re going, leave early enough to give yourself time to achieve your outcomes: track damage and slippery surfaces could slow down your usual routes.
- You can check weather, track alerts and recent track reviews in PlanMyWalk.nz
Refresh yourself on the basics
It's been a long winter for some, and you can't Google yourself out of a situation in the outdoors.
- Get out your First Aid Kit, do you need to resupply? Do you know how to use everything in it to help yourself or others in trouble?
- What is dirty, faster than you, and can sound like rolling boulders....? a river you should not cross. Learn more from our videos and e-learning on our River safety page
- Where are you going? Can you find your way back? Get to know the basics of outdoor Navigation
Check yourself and your group
It might be your first trip of the season, so take your time and watch your footing.
- Wear in your boots before you go if they are new and take the time to fit your pack correctly to your body
- Stretch in the morning, take regular breaks and don’t rush downhill. These are common traps for young players. Learn more with Tramping Skills
- Check in with everyone at track junctions: How's everyone feeling? How long to go? Have a snack and a drink! A good experience for all will make you want to go out again!
When you get home safely
Tell your trusted contact you have made it back into signal - success!
- Hang out any wet gear properly and remove dirt/mud – your equipment will last longer
- Leave your own track/hut/campsite reviews in PlanMyWalk.nz – every review helps! It allows you to share if a track was easier/harder than anticipated and load photos in from the trip.
Photos: Martin Grafetsberger and Caleb Smith, Jo Stilwell