New Zealand Hiking Safety Tips
Hiking is a very famous outdoor activity in New Zealand. Another widely use term for hiking is “tramping”. This tramping enthusiasm in New Zealand has attracted a huge number of visitors to this beautiful location, especially because it houses one of the world’s most famous hiking tracks, such as the Heaphy and the Abel Tasman tracks.
If you are more adventurous though, you can opt to join Hiking Safaris, New Zealand tours where the hikers usually trek the less traveled path which offers, if not more, the same level of experience and scenery for the trampers.
Regardless, Keep These in Mind
But when hiking in New Zealand, it is always a priority to keep you safe. Below are some safety tips in case you decide to hike in the majestic places of New Zealand.
1. Research. Before jumping to your hiking adventure in New Zealand, you must do your own research on the hiking track that you are planning to explore. Know the track, research the geography, the weather and even the animals and the plants there. Take note of information that you should prepare for or take caution with. Make sure to also have an idea of how long the hike will be so that you can adequately prepare for it.
2. Ask for Permission from the Land Owner. In addition, research also if you will need to obtain the permission of the landowner for your hike. This would prevent legal problems. More so, the land owner can give you more information about the place and what to look out for during the hike. In National Parks, you may require to pay a registration fee.
3. Tell someone. Always be certain that you’ve told someone about the hike and about the trail. This might save you and your co-hikers life. It is always better safe than sorry.
4. Know the weather. Check the weather forecast at the Department of Conservation or DOC. Rapid weather changes can be a problem at New Zealand. Because weather forecasts are still subject to errors, never fail to watch the weather as you go through your track.
5. Know your limits. Do not push yourself too hard. Again, your safety is of utmost importance. Choose your level of challenge wisely to avoid injury and accidents that might endanger your life and give problems to your co-hikers.
6. Pack enough supplies. Make sure that you have enough food, water and clothing with you. Bring high energy food and eat it sparingly just to make sure you have enough in case your hike is extended due to unexpected reasons. Also drink water every now and then to avoid dehydration. A liter in the morning and another liter in the afternoon would be sufficient depending on how much you sweat. Add clothing to warm you when you feel chilly and cold. Also bring waterproof clothes just in case it rains.
7. Bring an emergency shelter. Make sure that you have your tent fly or survival bags just in case something happens and you’d need an urgent shelter.
8. Bring a communication device. Hikers usually bring individual whistles attached to their backpacks as a form of communication whenever a hiker gets separated from the group. Remember that blowing three times mean an emergency while one whistle blow is just a signal to get the group’s attention. More so, you can use radios but you should be approximately close with your contact. For contact to the outside world, use your cell phone or your satellite phones although these would only work where there is service – usually there isn’t any when you need it!
Don’t forget to take pictures and only leave your footprints on your track.