Media Release: A little preparation goes a long way to keeping yourself safe this summer
As the classic Kiwi summer approaches and the mercury rises around Aotearoa, thoughts of long days at the beach, sizzling barbecues and chilled-out holidays begin to occupy more and more of our thoughts.
For many, summertime means outdoor adventures, and our world-renowned track and hut network, combined with stunning scenic vistas, means trampers and hikers from around New Zealand and the world head to the hills in droves.
In 2021, thanks in many respects to covid, domestic tramping participation hit an all-time high, more than 1.14million NZ adults went out for a tramp or hike in the outdoors. With this surge in participation minor and moderate tramping injuries also increased, but thankfully, severe injuries did not.
This summer, all signs point to another busy tramping season, with strong demand for many of our most popular locations. Together the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) and NZ Police are urging all outdoor enthusiasts, whether they be on short walks, day hikes or overnight tramps, to incorporate three essential often-overlooked aspects into their planning and preparation.
MSC Chief Executive, Mike Daisley, says that while most people head out on walks of up to a day, that doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong and a little focused preparation can be hugely helpful.
“One of the most critical things to do it actually pick a trip that suits your groups abilities, that means the difficulty, duration and comfort levels. Often, we see people get into trouble because they’ve attempted a track that’s just too hard for them, or there weren’t enough daylight hours to get back, it sounds simple, but this stuff is commonly overlooked, he says.”
NZ Police, National Coordinator SAR Training and Development Acting Senior Sergeant Scott Iszard, adds that another essential step is to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
“No matter where you’re heading or for how long, let someone know these details and when they can expect you back. We recommend people use the free Plan My Walk platform to do this, but regardless of how, it only take a couple of minutes and it can make all the difference to your safety if something unexpected happens, he says.”
Daisley adds, “another common mistake, that can be easily avoided, is having a couple of clothing items ‘just in case’, even when the forecast is good, we recommend everyone carries a waterproof jacket and a warm layer, you never know when you might need them.”
Plan My Walk, a free trip planning tool by the MSC, takes the guesswork out of the important planning phase by bringing together a key range of information a walker needs when planning a trip in the outdoors, including track information, gear lists, alerts and weather forecasts. Hikers and trampers can use Plan My Walk to avoid these three common mistakes by:
- Searching the largest database of public NZ walking tracks to find a trip that’s suitable for their group
- Using the gear list function to see a recommended packing list
- Easily create a trip plan in under 5 minutes and send it to a trusted contact
Both MSC and NZ Police wish trampers across Aotearoa a safe and successful summer.
For media interviews, please contact NZ Mountain Safety Council; Mike Daisley, 027 443 7557 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see here for a range of photos you can use in this article. Please attribute the source to ‘NZ Mountain Safety Council’.
Header photo: Peach Cove Track, Jack Austin