Give yourself more than one shot
The variable spring weather has settled down a bit and it’s time to get into it. Everything is on the move during this time of year from animals, rivers, weather systems and the mountains themselves. Covid-19 impacts us daily, from limitations on travel and disruption to work lives, we at MSC encourage those heading out to build an adaptable plan this summer. That way you can make the most of your time outdoors, where ever in Aotearoa that may be.
Guest Article for NZDA Hunting and Wildlife magazine | Summer 2021
Long-term thinking – a few months out from your trip
Those planning their Roar hunts now, you might have a block sorted already or still be wondering where to go. Maybe you want to get the freezer filled up first? Use time you have for higher level considerations, as in your goals for the year. Even consider new places to go beyond your usual spots, or a different form of hunting, there are plenty of animals out there.
Do a recce for the whole area and understand the best transport methods, rivers that can impact your route, and gear required for the big push next year. It may be uninhabited now but come the Roar that might change, so gather notes on where you want to look into later. Either way, have a few options in the region, you might have travelled a long way to get there and then something changes, so having alternatives is a good idea.
Mid-term thinking – a week or so from heading out
Think about the weather and conditions for where you are considering to go. For example, enough rain can change river levels and terrain. Checking the NZ Avalanche Advisory is another potential consideration depending on where you’re off to. If the weather doesn’t suit, change to another area, or call up your mates and move the dates. This is also when you want to make sure that you have a PLB available, either rented or purchased. Consider an SMS (InReach) device as well, it will allow you to notify your contacts that you’ve changed your plans with no worries.
Crunch time – 24 hrs before departure
If you’re not feeling up to it, change your plans. Better to save your energy for another trip. Is it ‘just a niggle’ or will it affect how the trip goes for you and your mates? Check you have the gear for further changes and send all your trip details to a trusted contact. Our Plan My Walk app is handy for sorting what you might need.
On the trip
You can change your plans accordingly at any stage in your trip journey. The wind might not be right, the hut might be full or you simply can’t go on. Here’s where a backup plan, the emergency shelter you packed or the fact you left early enough in the day means you have the capacity to adapt easily.
Wherever you are scoping out this summer, have a few options up your sleeve for backups. A local mate’s farm that has a goat problem, or a local bushwalk to stretch the legs, Aotearoa’s outdoors has plenty to offer. So ease that pressure on your schedules, someone is bound to show up to the BBQ with enough meat to go round.
- DOC Hunting website + Topomaps for scouring new areas to map out a few options in one region. Google earth is another great way to visualise the terrain you want to explore
- Plan My Walk app – new features, MetService Mountain Hazards and daily trip details in the app plan section, you can also see track reviews with photos for more recent conditions
HEADER PHOTO: Caleb Smith