Tramping Around Southland: Plan Your Trip

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Before starting out on any adventure, you should have a clear plan. It’s important to know where you are going, when you will return, what weather to expect, and what supplies you will need. Adventure is all about embracing the unknown, but if you can set some clear intentions and prepare well the whole experience is far more rewarding.

The Mountain Safety Council has a heap of resources and tools to help you plan your trip, including Plan My Trip. This tool allows you to enter all the important details to generate a plan for your next adventure. You’ll fill in the type of activity, the area you’ll be in, your start and end dates, and the number in your party. Plan My Trip will then notify you of any alerts in your area, and can download a pdf of your plan, including a packing list and recommended activities in the area. Easy!

Safety Is Key

Before you leave, always share your intentions with a trusted person who can notify the authorities if you haven’t returned on time. While many people tramp with a goal in mind, if conditions or your group’s physical capabilities change, you should be prepared with an alternate plan. This might mean taking an easier route (that you have shared with your trusted person), turning back, or taking shelter until it is safe to continue. Remember, returning home safely is your top priority. If you don’t come back, how do you expect to go on the next adventure?

If you need to implement an alternate plan, it’s a good idea to let your trusted person know. For faster communication your mobile phone can be useful, but be aware that many areas don’t have cell coverage. A Personal Locator Beacon is a good solution for emergency communication. There should be at least one per group, and it’s best to carry it on your person rather than in your pack. In an emergency a PLB allows you to let rescuers know your exact location and that you’re in need of urgent assistance. They are becoming more affordable, and many places have them available for hire, including Adventure Southland.

Checking The Conditions

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Be sure to check the weather before you go so you know what to expect. You can check the forecast on Met Service, including the weather for our national parks, mountains and rural areas. It is often worthwhile to look at a few other sources as well, to get a better idea of the weather systems that will impact your trip. A large front bringing wet or cold weather, or excessive winds might require you to reschedule, change your route or destination, or pack extra gear. Be very mindful that rivers can rise quickly and unexpectedly. Rain can even fall in the headwaters while you remain dry, causing surprise flooding and making rivers impassable. When it comes to water, if there is any doubt, stay out! Your top priority is your own safety. There is no point risking it all for just one trip.

If you’re keen to find out more about tramping around
Southland, brush up on bush skills, or book an instructor
for your next adventure, get in touch today!

03 235 7191 // info@adventuresouthland.co.nz