LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANIONS
Club trips are organised and led by volunteers not by guides. We are therefore all responsible for our own safety, while at the same time looking out for our companions. It is important that we actually do some preparation and thinking for ourselves and do not just turn up on a trip, expecting that someone else will do it all for us. Try this:
- Read the description of the trip and make sure it is something within your ability. Ask someone for advice if necessary, as there may be particular hazards on a trip that are specific to the terrain. A tramping party is only as strong as its weakest member so you may put everyone at risk if you cannot cope.
- Really pay attention to the Gear List. Don’t rely on someone else taking those things you cannot immediately find. That will not help if you find yourself alone, especially when you need that torch you left behind!
- Make a conscious effort to understand the hazards associated with tramping in the hills. They are all there on the Mountain Safety Council’s website www.mountainsafety.org.nz. This has a mass of information including 42 short videos under the tab “Get Outdoor Video Series”. You will have received a copy of “Safety in the Mountains” when you joined the club. Do actually read through it from time to time.
- And do make an effort to understand maps and how to use your compass. Maps are easy – using a compass is not. But you will need them if you end up separated from your party.
- The leader of the trip will have one of the club’s locator beacons but think about buying one for yourself. They are an essential item on an independent trip. A Cell-phone will usually work from a higher point but not always.
- Always take some spare medication if you need it, (in case of an unscheduled night out).
- Learn to be at home in the mountains and the bush, even if you are alone. That will come with learning, confidence and experience.