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Blog: Summer Of Tramping

If you listen closely you can hear packs being dragged out of cupboards, dusted off and set by the front door in anticipation of summer adventures.

Summer is when a huge number of people will venture into the sun kissed hills of New Zealand. As the weather settles and the bees start buzzing about frantically gathering supplies while they last, it’s worth a quick check-in on some of the basics.

Up-Skill Yourself

We’ve built a FREE online eLearning tool for you to learn about how to have a great time and make it home safely. Have a whirl now!

Always wanted to know how to light a campfire properly? Maybe you’d like to know what a grid reference is? Or, perhaps learning about how to predict weather by the clouds? Regardless of what you’re interested in it’s likely that we’ve covered it in the ‘Get Outdoors’ series on our YouTube channel.

Gear check

If you mothballed your equipment last year, now’s a good time to drag it out, dust it off and check everything is OK. Pay attention to things like,

  • Battery terminals in GPS, head torch etc. It’s always a good idea to replace batteries and tape a backup supply of the relevant size together with electrical tape and chuck in as well.
  • Is your pocket knife OK? Give it some love. Re-sharpen and oil.
  • How’s your pack? Does it need a clean out? Rub a bit of candle wax on zips and watch them glide smooooth!
  • Spare laces/cord: there’s a million uses for a length of cord so find a bit and pop in a pocket.
  • Remove any dust, dirt and half chewed muesli bars from last year (be honest, there’s one in your pack isn’t there?)
  • If you’re heading out overnight this summer, a service on your stove is highly recommended. Ditto for your tent poles/pegs/zips. Assume nothing; an issue with any one of these can ruin a good trip.
  • Sunscreen: A summer essential. Add a small bottle/tube into a ziplock bag just in case it pops open.
  • Sunnies: If you’ve ever forgotten yours in the car park you’ll know the frustration. Consider keeping a cheap pair in the pack.
  • Medication: Similar to forgetting sunnies, if you’ve got asthma, hay fever or something that requires medication through the day, pop a backup supply into your bag just in case you forget in the excitement of running out the door.

What If’s?

How would help find you if something did go wrong? An ‘unexpected night out’ can — and does — happen very easily. If you or a friend has an injury, or you take a wrong turn at a junction or lose the track all together time can slip away and you might be out overnight.

Even if you’re only 200m from the car park it can feel like the middle of nowhere in the dark. If you’ve left your trip plan and intentions — especially when you’re due back — with a trusted contact they can raise the alarm if you’re not back in time. If you do find yourself out overnight it’s paramount you stay put where you are. Don’t make a bad situation worse. Pull your knees under your jacket (you took one, right?) huddle together and stay calm. Find shelter while there’s light if you can. Read more here.

Read more about the Outdoor Safety Code

Emergency Kit.

As mentioned above, an ‘unexpected night out’ can, and does, happen every year. If you’ve had a think about the ‘what if’ scenarios you will have added a few items into your bag for emergencies. Suggestions below,

  • Headtorch/torch. Being able to see where you’re going is a critical issue for ensuring you can make yourself comfortable as well as signal for help if necessary.
  • Lightweight rain jacket. If you’ve got a jacket it will cut windchill and protect you from any rain (Yes it rains in summer). You won’t be comfortable but you can sit down and pull your knees close. Read more: ‘Don’t be an egg, take a jacket.”
  • Mid-layer fleece/jumper. As the temperature drops you need to retain as much heat as you can. Overnight temperatures in the outdoors are often single digits, even in summer.
  • Spare food. Shivering creates heat but requires calories. Add spare food for every trip.
  • Medication. Always have a backup of essentials.
  • First Aid Kit. Read more here.

If you’ve not found our Instagram Page, make sure you add #MakeItHomeNZ to your pictures if you want to share your adventure and feature on the page. We select a few of the top images every week.


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For over 50 years MSC has been NZ’s national organisation promoting safety in land based outdoor activities #MakeItHomeNZ |

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