A few extra things to think about. – Outtheresouthernadventures

A few extra things to think about.

So you've got all your gear and equipment sorted. You've been training to increase your fitness. Awesome. And now you're planning a trip with some friends.

Be realistic as to your level of fitness, now far it is to your hut or camp site?  Is it along a valley track and is it flat walking? or are there hilly areas? Are you staying in a hut or do you have to carry a tent and sleeping map? Are the friends you are going with have a similar fitness level or experience? This is important as if you are going with really fit friends they might set a cracking pace that destroys you and that's not much fun. They might also want to go into an area that, right at the moment is out of your skill/fitness level so it might not be a great idea to go with them.

Walking into the Greenstone valley and carry what is needed for a week. A 5hr walk. 

Ideally you want to plan your first trips into easy places that aren't too hard to get to and aren't going to destroy you. Remember this hiking or tramping is supposed to be for enjoyment not put you off. So plan your first trips smartly. Think about places that you can get to and are achievable for your skill set and level of experience and your fitness level. Having friends of similar skill set and fitness levels is good as you can learn off each other and there is no expectations, it's not a race and you will wonder along together happily chatting enjoying the time.

Before you go, get all your gear and food and lay it all out with your pack on the floor and look at it. How much are you taking, is there enough food for the trip, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, Perhaps a little extra food for that 'just incase' and water etc.

Lay out your gear and work out if it is really needed. 

Look at your cloths you are going to wear and then warm dry hut cloths. Your waterproof jacket, first aid and survival, sleeping bag, all your gear. Then pack your pack, put all your gear you want to stay dry into a dry bag inside your pack. I use two dry bags, one for my cloths, sleeping bag and one for food.

 Once you've got your pack packed, pick it up and try it for weight distribution, is it comfy enough to walk for the next two hours or more ?  Infact the best thing is get all your gear on and all your gear packed so in your mind you know what you're up to. You are going to be carrying this pack and its contents so look at what you are carrying, do you need to carry your electric tooth brush? no, take a small normal hand operated one. Tooth paste, do you need to carry a full 210gram new tube? no, go buy a small 30 gram one that will be your 'Hiking tooth paste'. this just saved you weight. And just by doing this you've save 300grams.

My toilet bag kit. Underarm Deodorant, small hand soap, Toothbrush and paste and some sunscreen. I also carry some dental floss.  

Will you really need three pairs of underwear, no, just take the ones your wearing and a spare set to change into at the hut. Will you wear three tee-shirts, no, just take one. Will you wear three pairs of socks? no, just take the ones you're wearing and a spare pair to change into at the hut. Do you really need a beach towel? no, a hand towel is all you need.

For some, wearing glasses is just the way it is. Without glasses, blind as a bat comes to mind. So think about this, you're walking along the track, ( or maybe even off the track in the tussocks), you have a fall and your glasses going flying. Where did they go? you didn't even see which way they went. So now you are as blind as a bat and can't find your glasses. You won't be able to see where you're going or do so safely. In all fairness this has the potential to be very dangerous, probably a time to activate your PLB. That's how dangerous this could be and just because you have lost your glasses. So perhaps attach your glasses to your head with a string/strap or eyewear retainers. or buy a really cheap pair you can carry in your pack just as 'back ups'. These might be ok to wear to help find your lost glasses.

A simple solution, light weight back ups in a tough compact carry case.

Sometimes you just have to be ruthless and say, I don't need that or that, you're the one carrying the pack. This is why if you work on the principle of a 55L as your tramping pack you don't have huge amounts of room for all those extras so it makes you limit what you can carry. You might also want to take a few drinks to celebrate you're achievement of making it into the hut and your first overnight hut walk. Cans are good because you squash them to carry out. Bladder wine or port is easy to carry (out of the cardboard box) Don't go overboard and take too much a few beers or a few cups of wine/port are ample. Remember your carrying it. 

So you've planned your trip, know where you're going, who you are going with, sorted pack gear, food drink etc.

My gear for a day hike. 36kms for the day, so only carry what you need, there is no need to carry items you will not need or use.

Keep an eye on the weather, if the weather is going to be dreadful then postpone the trip, wait till better weather as dreadful weather does nothing for the experience. Infact it can make the trip unsafe and put yourself and others in to dangerous positions. I always look at it as if I'm going into an area I plan to have the best weather it can be. To me there is no point in going into this place to get soaking wet, all your gear get soaked, cold, wet, see limited views due to the weather and potentially be in an unsafe area. Flooding, trees blown over, landslides, slippery underfoot. It's just not worth it. You will have a much more enjoyable time walking that track on a nice sunny day with beautiful views as opposed to doing that same track in crappy conditions. So plan your trips to get the best weather conditions.


Trust me, this is not fun. Just plan your trips for the better days.

When I'm going into an area, whether hunting or hiking, I have the cloths I'm wearing,  I get to the area I'm going to park up and then change into my hunting/hiking cloths leaving the cloths I was wearing in the vehicle so I know when I get back I have warm dry cloths to put on. I will also wear normal footwear while in the vehicle travelling then put on my walking boots with my tramping cloths.

When you get home, clean all your gear. If it's wet ensure it is dry before you put it away. If it's covered in mud (or blood from hunting) ensure it is thoroughly cleaned off, air dried and then put away. All your gear, keep it all together in a big plastic tub so you know where everything is. You have just spent a lot of money on gear that will last you a long time if it is looked after. If you don't look after it, it will eventually fail and usually at a time you don't want  it to.

Take the time to plan your trips, your gear, food, check the weather. This hiking, tramping, hunting is supposed to be fun not put you off.