MEDIA RELEASE: Labour weekend to kickstart summer tramping
It's finally time to dust off the tramping gear and get outdoors again as Labour Weekend kicks of the traditional summer tramping season in New Zealand. With the changeable spring weather and a whole lot more people in the bush, the NZ Mountain Safety Council share key safety tips for a safe long weekend outdoors.
Aotearoa’s spring weather can be notoriously fickle, and we can see all four seasons in one day, therefore solid planning and smart decision-making makes for a more successful Labour Weekend adventure, MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says.
This means that choosing the right track for you and your group, checking and understanding the weather forecast, packing warm and waterproof clothing layers clothes and extra food, and telling someone your plans before you go are important tasks to tick off the planning list.
“Whether it’s a short walk, a day trip or an overnight tramp, the bare essentials even if the weather looks good should be: warm clothing layers – insulation layers and thermal base layers, a rain jacket, head torch, extra layers, warm hat and gloves and an appropriate emergency communications device,” Daisley says.
Labour weekend is also a great opportunity to check clothing and equipment that has been packed away, making sure everything is ready to go for summertime adventures, says Daisley.
“It’s also a good time to refresh yourself on the basics - it’s been a long winter for some so touching base on basic navigation, how to use certain gear or river crossing techniques is always a good idea.”
At this time of the year there is increased recreational activity above the bush line; alpine tramping, trail running, mountain biking and hunting. However, spring doesn’t mean the end of avalanche season, Daisley says.
“The warmer weather can overshadow the fact that spring is an active time for avalanches, which can still occur throughout much of the Southern Alps and at the higher elevations on Taranaki Maunga and in Tongariro National Park,” he says.
Travelling safely in avalanche terrain requires three essential components - the skills, equipment and forecast. You can find out more here.
MSC is also a big supporter of an early start for outdoor trips, giving you more time to accomplish your route and reduce the chance of rushing and possibly making mistakes, and avoiding getting caught out in the dark if things take longer than expected.
Using the Plan My Walk app can help experienced and beginner trampers find the right track for their abilities, check for any track alerts issued by DOC and MetService weather warnings, and a suggested gear list which can be sent to group members and emergency contacts.
- Read the NZ Mountain Safety Council’s new children’s book, Mia & Leo Go Wild for tips on how to plan a safe family adventure.
Contact Communications Advisor Rebekah Wilson with any other queries.
Header photo: Supplied.