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.
@madpom I'm so sorry for your loss, mate. She was a wonderful, loyal, loving companion to you. Intrepid, curious, friendly: what a tremendous animal. Lotsa love to you and S~
PS ode to Madpom and his best friend. So many wonderful memories had he must be missed. I’m reminded Charlie Douglas had a few Betsy janes. Rhondda, suggest you don’t sweat the detail, by that allow a lil more time to do the trip and taking a little more food to cover it. With backcountry tramps things are open to change, there isnt the support of manicured tracks or hut wardens. Park up for a day if the wx is real crap, creeks are up, find a neat spot etc. Take a mountain radio or inreach or like to let your SAR contact know the changes, get wx updates, and then, just soak it all up and go with the flow. OSM and dehydes for me on extended trips. Gels for a big push (day or 2 ) but they’re really heavy! My tent purchase factors cooking in the vestibule on rainy days and I take ripped pages from a cryptic crossword or soduko to pass time. No batteries required.
Thanks Mickie, I'm a bit of a planner so I never really considered just making it up as I go along. It's obviously the way to go when you can't be sure of outcomes. Really appreciate all the great advice, I feel heaps better about giving it a go now! Rhondda.
A few years ago I did a circuit with Frank in Silverpeaks, involving some off-track travel along a ridge from the ABC cave to Jubilee Hut. It was pretty straightforward and might be a nice introduction.
Hi Rhonda,My 2 bobs worth re sandflies.Take vitamin B1 tablets,1 a day,for 2 weeks before your trip.If you`re a prolific tramper,keep taking them but button off to twice weekly.The litte buggers still bite but you don`t itch or swell.Going with someone shares the joy;like shark attacks when swimming with a buddy-there`s a 50:50 chance your buddy gets nibbled on & leaves you alone!
dont take vitamin B1 tablets, it unbalances your other B vitamin levels and it acts like a diuretic flushing specific minerals out of your body skewing your mineral levels... take a multi B and not a high dose one.
Maybe I should give the B1 another try. I took an entire bottle daily and despite that noticed Frank was still being bitten less than I was but perhaps there is less itching. I've got a methylation mutation that may stop the thiamine level from perservering. I'm certainly deficient even though I don't drink at all!
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