Heading outdoors after extreme weather
We are asking those who have plans to go outdoors in Cyclone Gabrielle impacted areas to consider the additional challenges and potential risks.
The destruction left behind by the cyclone has altered the landscape in popular hunting or tramping areas of Waikato, East Coast and Hawke’s Bay, as well as Northland. The widespread impact can leave some uncertainty for explorers this autumn meaning decision-making, and asking themselves if they need to go in the usual location is important. This goes for trampers going for their last trip before winter and Roar hunters on their big trip of the year.
- Consider other options this season. Make it easier on yourself and the people who are working hard to repair facilities and infrastructure like local roads.
- Be prepared for changes to your usual spots. Such as major track damage, changes in river flows that will impact crossings points and even reduced facilities. You will need to consider how much longer it could take to get there (on foot or by 4WD) and you will need to have a plan B, or be prepared to turn back if something is impassable. Consider these circumstances when planning, and add possible route changes to your intentions for your trusted contact.
- Don’t take risks and share what you learn. A safe successful trip without pushing yourself and your group means you are not causing the need for a rescue. What you learn about the environment while out there from photos can be brought back and shared on PlanMyWalk, at the local DOC office and with fellow hunters or trampers to help shape an understanding of what has changed since this significant event.
- Expect to encounter slips, damage and changes in the landscape, and that you could be the first person there since the cyclone.
These changes can be long-lasting and our thoughts go out to the communities affected in these areas.
12 things to consider
- Weather assessment, is it safe to go out? Check the current alerts and be cautious of damage to tracks/areas. If you notice anything, share it with a photo in the track review section of Plan My Walk.
- Self assessment, how are you and your group feeling? Is anyone unsure about the current trip plan? Regroup before you go.
- Check the time, can you achieve your goal without needing to rush home? Allow enough time to get there and get back to help reduce chance of a silly mistake.
- Food + water, take these on every walk just incase you are delayed or use more energy than intended!
- The right clothing always carry a warm/waterproof layer and some sun-smart items to protect you against the elements.
- Emergency equipment such as a shelter and head torch can make all the difference. Get a full gear list in the Plan My Walk app and check your group is all set.
- How long is left to go on your trip? Will you reach your destination in time or arrive back home before it gets dark? You can always try another day.
- You encounter a river or obstacle... think, is it safe to cross? Are all of you able and comfortable to do this safely? Learn about signs of an unsafe river.
- Things are changing, the track is rougher and clouds are coming in... are you still up for the challenge? Can you get yourself home safely? Stop and regroup.
- What if I was overdue or lost? Tell someone where you are going and take a communication device to contact help if you need it.
- What if I slipped over or got injured? Take it slow on steep sections, watch your footing and carry a first aid kit with you.
- What if I had to stay the night in the bush? Do you have shelter, warmth, water and food to keep you safe? These items can all fit in a day pack
Find out more before you go
Essential Alerts across New Zealand
- MetService Warnings
- Civil Defence
- Local DOC Visitor Centres
- DOC track alerts per region you can also find track-based alerts from DOC in Plan My Walk.
Regional Emergency Management services in recently affected areas
Learn more about the affects of weather in the outdoors
- How to understand the weather
- River Safety Skills
- Tips for planning a trip and what to consider
- Learn about Communication Devices for the outdoors