Tramping also known as trekking and hiking is the ideal way to explore New Zealand and all its glory, but tramping in New Zealand is dangerous especially during bad weather and it can change without warning, locals even claim that they have four seasons in one day.
That’s why it is important to know what the water safety measures are to protect yourself during heavy rainfalls to ensure you have a solid flood recovery plan since aside from dehydration, hypothermia is the next major thing to avoid when exploring the outdoors, here are some outdoor adventure safety tips for New Zealand.
Though you can always rely on a GPS tracker, you must know how to properly read a map since New Zealand is known to have unpredictable weather conditions, a topographical map is vital when tramping outdoors especially during the winter where it gets darker faster.
Check the forecast, be prepared for all conditions
Be aware of the changes in the weather and listen to the local weather forecast since it has been established that the water in New Zealand changes quickly, make sure to pack warm and waterproof clothes to ensure water safety during the event of heavy rainfall.
- Check the local weather forecast before and when planning your hike.
- Bring appropriate clothes and equipment suited to the current weather.
- Ask locals who are familiar with the area.
When out for hike during the winter in the country make sure to check for avalanche dangers and listen to the local’s advice, you may consult with DOC (Department of Conservation) of New Zealand to know the current avalanche conditions on the location, pack extra clothes and food for this hiking in the snow.
Rivers and flooding
It is known that New Zealand has over 180,000 km of rivers and crossing them during normal seasons is already dangerous enough but they can easily be affected by the weather, snowmelt and the water variation changes rapidly that’s why they are considered as a significant hazard in the country.
It is advised to avoid crossing rivers as much as possible by thoroughly researching the tracks that have bridges. But if you somehow find yourself in a situation where bad weather is present, and you don’t know how to determine if a river is dangerous to cross here are ways to see if they are uncrossable.
- The river appears to have cloudy and surging water.
- You can see visible debris in the river.
- The water is moving faster when compared to the normal walking pace.
- You can hear rolling boulders.
Never cross the river alone unless you have plenty of experience, wait for another group to come by your area or go back. If you find yourself in an unfortunate scenario of flooding, ensure flood protection by knowing basic and safe river crossing techniques.
When in doubt, never attempt to cross a river by yourself and if needed wait until the water levels in the river has lessened and its speed has slowed down, make sure to pack up enough food for these types of delays.
Ensure you have enough supplies
For all excursions in New Zealand, no matter what the weather, you should always be prepared and that means stocking up on your supplies, make sure to bring enough food, torch, clothing, communication devices, and emergency rations to be prepared for worst-case scenarios.