World-first outdoor adventure app designed to save lives
Planning a New Zealand walking or tramping adventure just became a whole lot easier with the launch of a brand-new free trip planning app, Plan My Walk.
Plan My Walk takes the guesswork out of the planning phase by bringing together the important information needed for planning a safe and successful walk or tramp in New Zealand.
The easy-to-use app, believed to be a world-first, was developed by the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC). It includes more than 1000 Department of Conservation tracks, MetService weather forecasts and severe weather warnings, track specific alerts, interactive gear lists and other useful planning advice.
One of the unique features of the app enables users to create a trip plan where they can add group members, assign an emergency contact, and then share the plan with others.
The app will help the more than one million adult New Zealanders who get into the outdoors to find places suitable for them, and ensure they can have an awesome, safe adventure.
MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says the new app, launched today, is a revolutionary step forward in supporting walkers and trampers’ safety in New Zealand’s outdoors.
“We are really excited to get the app out there in the community and see how people use it and see how it helps them with planning and preparing for their adventures.”
Using MSC's extensive insights to guide the creation of specific functions and features, the app addresses common incident causation factors such as overambitious choice of route, a lack of sufficient fitness and people taking longer than expected to reach the destination. As these three factors combined cause 30% of all tramping SAR operations.
Developing an app is no mean feat for a non-for-profit organisation. MSC has spent more than 1000 hours in research and development to make sure the app directly improves user’s safety.
“We are really confident there is a need for this type of app and that it will make a difference,” Daisley says.
An important app feature allows users to leave track reviews and comment on the track conditions. MSC believes this will help to build a strong community vibe and will enable more effective preparation.
“Our research indicated that it was really important that users could share intel with others because this type of advice can be some of the most helpful when users are planning,” Daisley says.
Aside from the safety aspect of the app, MSC hopes Plan My Walk will also encourage people to find new walking and hiking opportunities and discover parts of NZ they may not have gone to before.
Further details about Plan My Walk:
- Download the free Plan My Walk app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store or find it online at www.planmywalk.nz.
- More tracks will be loaded into Plan My Walk throughout the year once local council track data becomes available.
- The incident causation analysis of tramping search and rescues operations over a seven-year period also showed that being ‘unprepared for the weather conditions’ caused 12% of search and rescues and a ‘lack of warm layered clothing and/or a waterproof jacket’ caused 13%.