7 rules of outdoor safety
- Plan your trip thoroughly
- register and email your trip intentions with Adventure Smart, or
- leave an Intentions Form with a responsible person
this should include
- the route you intend to take
- the party size, and experience level of the group
- time and place of return
- Carry sufficient clothing, equipment, food, and water
- take appropriate clothing: wool or polypropolene next to the skin, two pairs of socks at all times to avoid blisters, sunhat, parka with a hood, overtrousers.
- take appropriate equipment: boots with good tread, small rubbish bag, comfortable pack with a pack liner and a pack cover.
- take a tent fly, first aid items and extra food in case of emergencies
- take navigation equipment and know how to use it: map and compass AND offline maps on your GPS phone app or a dedicated GPS unit.
- Carry a means of emergency communication
- take a PLB (personal locator beacon). Consider taking a Mountain radio or satellite phone.
A radio communication device is necessary in the outdoors where cell phone reception may be limited or unavailable. Emergency communication devices can be hired at minimal cost or purchased.
- Check the weather forecast
- monitor the weather in the days before you leave
- continually monitor the weather conditions during the trip
- Check the track and hut conditions
- check with the Department of Conservation, locals, local tramping clubs, Regional Authorities, or District Councils
- Beware of rivers - if in doubt DO NOT CROSS
- know when, where, and how to cross
- attend a river safety course before you go
- Prepare for emergencies
- when things go wrong, use the STOP model for making decisions:
Stop, take a breath, sit down, and remain calmThink, look around you, listen, brainstorm optionsObserve what is around you, evaluate the potential consequencesPlan what to do what is necessary to keep alive, then act. Water, shelter, warmth, and the will to survive are the essential elements to your survival, but if in doubt stay put.
Safety tips for tourists
- Sign in and sign out
Leave a detailed trip plan with the Department of Conservation or a friend, including a "panic date". The more details rescuers have about intentions, the quicker they'll be rescued if something goes wrong.
- Don't underestimate bad New Zealand weather. Check forecasts before going into the outdoors for the period planned.
- Take advice from people who know the area you're planning to tramp or climb in.
- Rivers can be killers
If it's running too strong to walk through. Wait until levels drop. Be conservative.
- Go with others
Its better than going alone.
- Take a PLB (personal locator beacon).
- If lost, seek shelter and stay where you are. Use a torch or camera flash to attract attention at night. During the day, try to position something coloured and visible from the air to assist a helicopter search.