A downside of trip planning
I managed to get away over New Years and walk the Heaphy. I enjoyed the walk far more than I expected I would. I wasn't sure I would enjoy myself on a great walk after spending the last 5-6 years on more remote trails. Upon reflection, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was that other than booking the huts and transport, I did zero research into the walk. As a result, each day was a complete surprise, and throughly enjoyable because of it. This is in direct contrast to the months and months of detailed research that normally goes into stitching together several routes into a tramp, working out the logistics, assessing the risks, abilities & gear and devising contingency plans incase things do not work out as expected. Adequate planning is always going to be at the heart of any successful backcountry tramp I attempt, and safety always comes first, so I suspect that I will always find myself undertaking detailed pre-trip planning, but I can't help but think that it does take away from some of the enjoyment that my tramping buddies get from not knowing what is around the corner (unfortunately, if I wait for them to pull a trip together, then I will never tramp again). Keen to hear if others have had a similar experience or a different take on things. Cheers Moh.
Serendipidy. Always include a few trips that allow for serendipidy. Like 'lets spend a week on the ruahines and see where we end up'. This years was an aimless winter week vallyhopping in the Livingstone mtns that ended in the eyres as weather pushed me east. Last years was a winter wander round st james. The year before lk sumner. The key to such trips is a full week off, maps of every possiblility and a way of communicating intentions as they change. And a willingness to hitch home from whatever roadend you end up at
ditto to all of the above. Doing a trip that's well within your comfort zone once in a while is a really great way to relax and enjoy the land for what it is. I remember doing a sunny (and virtually unplanned) mid-winter trip across the Heaphy back in the '90s and every day was a pure delight. And trusting to chance is good too. One year I randomly generated ten huts to visit. Some of them I"d been to before, which was fine. But I ended up going to some other places that weren't even on my radar. Like the Eyre Mountains for instance - which was a total revelation. If anyone's interested, I uploaded the (Excel) spreadsheet I used to google docs at the link below. Just click the box in the top center to generate a new list of ten huts. It seems to work for me, so hopefully, it works for others. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Iw-DewaVoGhWo1v2EgrVZIEvm4voOsTs1BmH5zEliRI/edit#gid=795090574 The list of huts is about ten years old, so I'm positive there're some things that are out of date. Check with DOC if you're unsure. There are no rules for this. It's just a random number generator linked to an old list of huts.
theres a lot of nice people to mix with on the great walks. they are all willing to pay top dollar to get a bunk, they aren't looking to dodge paying their fees , they've paid them up front.. At least you don't get the bludgers with a self entitled attitude trying to avoid paying for hut stays,
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