Starting to go Off-Track

Hi all, my husband and I have done a lot of tramping but always on recognisable tracks to official huts or campsites. We've never just said 'hey, that looks like a beautiful valley, let's walk in there and put a tent up'. But that's exactly what we'd like to do. I've bought a copy of Moir's Guide North (we live in Dunedin so this covers a lot of the area we are interested in). We've got the gear we need (tents, bed mats, cooking equipment etc). What I'm wondering is things like 'how do you cook dinner if it's raining and windy but you don't have any shelter?'. 'How do you figure out how far you can walk in one day without knowing the roughness of the terrain?'. Do you take heaps of extra food so that you can extend your trip if it takes you longer than you thought? I'm confident about interpreting contours etc on maps. Not so good at estimating how far I've come on the actual ground though. Any tips that could help us take the next step into the back country would be much appreciated, thanks in advance. Rhondda.
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Think out of the box: if it rains, don't cook dinner, but eat bars or cold soak. But as it has been said: it's experience. And I'm experienced to know I can still get it pretty wrong, even when studying the map very carefully :-) So on distance for example make sure your plan allows for options. If you don't make it to your destination, make sure you have a plan B, a spot earlier where you can make do.
There is never an excuse not to cook dinner. Ok thats not entirely true. Some people actually like those one square meals or gel pack stuff that is meant to imitate real food. If your like me and like actual food and a hot meal then there are few reasons not to have it. The jetboil type stoves can cook in nearly any conditions and even the old msr type stoves have enough power to overcome a little blizzard etc. Still makes for an uncomfortable meal though but still a hot meal and drink is good for the soul. I remember a story from an older tramper that went solo on a 10 day trip when things went bad. He lost his leg to gangrene after it was crushed in a rockfall on day 2 in pre prb days. Still the worst part was when a weta stole his lighter on day 4 so it was uncooked food from then onwards until he was found 6 days later.
What's wrong with thinking outside the box? My partner and i will often forgo a hot dinner and have a salad roll among other things. The NEED for a hot dinner is purely psychological.
Summer salads are nice. No reason not to eat them in winter but keeping it fresh enough for salad can be a challenge.
For me, the key things for a salad roll are tomato, onion and cucumber (can be cut in the field and the age they are when you buy them can be important) , beetroot (pickled in vinegar and sugar so can last almost indefinitely - double clip seal if necessary), cheese (i can get a week out of it in NZ and i usually have some kind of ice when i start. Most of the time i have a frozen bladder which can help for a day or two) and baby spinach leaves keep better than lettuce. The breadroll can be toasted when it goes a little stale. We can still make a viable salad roll several days into a walk.
"For me, the key things for a salad roll are tomato, onion and cucumber (can be cut in the field" LittleDog would be so disappointed. She used to 'work the line' of any tramping groups or midweek walkers we came across getting fed sandwiches. Then discretely spit out the cucumber, lettuce and tomato onto the floor.
@madpom: LD! How is the lil' rapscallion? Is she still able to go bush with you?
@Gregor Dug a hole for her last November. She is missed - I suspect I'll never get the luxury of dedicating that much time to working with an individual dog again. Now .. back to the topic of the thread ...
@madpom really sorry to hear that... at least you had a lot of good memories together
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Forum Beginners and newbies
Started by Rhondda
On 26 April 2022
Replies 23
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