planning that tramp

There’s a heap to organise for any long-distance tramp:

choosing where to go, sorting out your route;

your gear, that’s not such a big deal if you get out regularly;

food, that can take some time as you have to approximate your itinerary, how many days;

in fact dehydrating your own dinners;

transportation, both to and from;

maps and/or GPS info, you gotta know where you are out there;

co-ordinate your companions, good luck, not so easy; etc.

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GPS or paper maps?

Mason Bay Beach, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island

GPS or paper maps?

There’s an easy answer, how about both.

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group, the two of us or solo?

Belltown Manunui Hut, Kahurangi National Park

Shared experience is what life is about.

But man, have you ever tried to orchestrate a group?

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training for tramping? Right

John Tait Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park


Answer: not much required.

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food, glorious food, maybe

Might not look all that appetising, but it will add plenty of flavour later. | Tramping food suggestions

Everyone has their own ideas about food, but when you have more than a week’s supply strapped to your back maximum calorific value and getting that warm cosy feeling at the end of your dinner is high on the list of priorities.

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weather and wind

Hellfire Pass looking over to Codfish Island in the late afternoon gloom | Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island

The weather in New Zealand is mostly consistent: assume it’s going to be foul and then every fine day is a bonus.

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tramping costs, it all adds up

Karamea River valley, Kahurangi National Park

There’s major expense in setting up gear, but, as they say, it’s an investment in your health, your physical and mental well being.

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safety in the mountains

snow near Travers Saddle, Nelson Lakes National Park

There’s a balance between extreme adventure and a pure cottonwool existence and it comes down to this: preparation and reading signs of danger.

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winter/spring tramping in the South Island

Wet snow can really slow you down and cause considerable extra effort.| near Hunters Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Overseas trampers can have considerable experience with winter conditions and snow.

The situation in New Zealand can be very different from that overseas experience.

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hunters and guns

The boys returning the second half of the pig shot yesterday | near D'Urville Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park

Most hunters are well drilled in the mantra “Identify your Target”, and are disciplined in restraining pulling the trigger until they are sure they have something four legged in their sights, not just blasting away at any movement in the shrubbery.

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Ultra light-weight tramping—an ultra high risk strategy

Ultra light-weight tramping  Mt Maling Stream in flood mode

How much is your life worth?

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dehydrating your own tramping meals, easy-peasy

Might not look all that appetising, but it will add plenty of flavour later. | Tramping food suggestions

Dehydrating meals for hiking is surprisingly easy, if you have the right equipment. Like a fan forced oven with some low sided baking trays.