be prepared

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seems a lot of overseas people heading to the new zealand outdoors in summer expect... well summery weather. they head off on hikes with gear only suitable for hot conditions. problem is, new zealand weather isnt entirely like that in summer. it's more likely to be warm than cold but cold wet weather even freezing wet weather can blow through at any time of year.. people die of hypothermia here in the summer sometimes. check the forecasts before you head outdoors the weather can often change fast. southerly parts of new zealnd can get snow at any time of the year, there has just been a reasonable dump. the forecast isnt always right, sometimes its badly wrong, always pack wet weather gear and some warm clothing. i've seen a lot of people doing overnight trips with very thin sleeping bags, no spare warm clothes if they get wet. even no wet weather gear.... softshels and down jackets arent waterproof.... its often windy in summer, umbrellas often arent good enough. if it rains there's a good chance it will make you cold, avoid wearing cotton. brochure pictures dont tell the full story, fiordland is the wettest place in the world at sealevel. the rest of westland isnt far behind,, the rain doesnt stop for summer..... when it does rain in summer it can rain more than in winter.... juste because the lord of the ring charactars are fictitious doenst mean you are free from risk of getting maimed in New zealand. that innocent creek bed you want to follow that is either dry or has little water in it can quickly turn into a whitewater kayakers dream in heavy rain. if you are patient it can quickly revert back to that peaceful stream after the rain stops... our tracks can be rough, open toed footwear can end up with stubbed and or cold toes.... I dont care how far you can walk in your own country on a good track, a lot of our tracks can be rough to extremely rough and slow going, don't expect to cover 30 plus kilometres a day on all the tracks you see here.... it might look like a small island compared to whre you come from but people still get lost here. the temperature extremes might not be as big as where you are from but people still suffer from heat stroke and die from hypothermia and can suffer frostbite here. the mountains may not be among the highest in the world but they can still be very steep and dangerous in places. mount cook national park doe look nice, but that hasnt stopped 200 people dying there.... and numerous more getting injured there. get advise on track conditions, what may be a straightforward walk in good weather can become dangerous in bad weather.. tussock might look great to hang onto when you're climbing a slope, but if its wet and you're on a steep slope it's perfect for sliding downhill at high speed until some large probably hard object stops your decent rapidly.
Good post, I couldn't agree more . So many people from overseas underestimate New Zealand in my opinion . The temperature extremes are moderate and the mountains are small, compared to many places overseas . But the hills are steep with rough tracks, the weather is fickle and strong, cold winds can happen, anytime, anywhere . I think many look at a topo map and just assume its all good, but it isn't and they oh so often get themselves in trouble . It cost the New Zealand tax payer alot of money rescuing these gung ho overseas adventurers, though they are not always from overseas . I think many are aware of New Zealands open hospitality and fantastic search and rescue and therefore think they are bullet proof . I think we need to start charging top dollar to operate search and rescue operations when looking for foreign back country visitors . I also think that hut passes should be of a higher rate for overseas visitors . But thats just me . I mean we, and by we, I mean DOC and taxpayer dollar, provide a world class back country experience in this country, and for most cases five dollars a night . Our back country is one of the major reasons many overseas visitors come to this country in the first place . Considering that the govt want to give DOC such a small amount of money to run on . It only makes sense to me to charge even more, for overseas visitors to experience this countries back country . It isn't mean spirited or unfair, it is fair .
its at the discretion of the services like the police to decide if rescues are charged for and they theoretically can be if there has been unecessary negligence involved. unecessarily calling for a rescue can also be charged. although it's rare that it happens. nz doesnt have the overseas mentality of paying regardless. there is a fear of poor uninsured people not calling for help when they need it because they can't afford it... i had to be helicoptered out of arthurs pas park by the air force when i twisted my knee, the police were waiting for me when the helicopter landed, they wanted to know who called the helicopter. i didnt know because a guy out training ran off to get help. i was told that if an official agency didnt summon the helicopter then i'd be paying for it... luckily the police decided it was DOC who called for it. sounded like the police were ready to lecture me if they got an answer they didnt like.... already this summer there have been numerous helicopter rescues, what will probably happen is when the rescue services are financially on their knees from all the freebies the rules will eventualy be changed , hopefully rescue services won't go out of business before then. the rules have been changed recently forcing rescue servies to operate twin engined helicopters. forcing expensive upgrades and increased overheads and debt.... what you dont hear about is the numerous cases where trampers help out the tourists, saving them from getting into trouble. theres always tourists who ignore advise about being ill prepared. or the ones who dont get any advise and climb mountains in clothes and or footwear suitable for a beach.... most get away with it, some don't... often they dont realise they've bitten off more than they can chew until it's too late, like when it gets dark and they are in the middle of nowhere still with no overnight gear or the weather turns for the worse. and its a lottery if they get back to safety before hypothermia sets in.
"It cost the New Zealand tax payer alot of money rescuing these gung ho overseas adventurers," Does it?
Yeah it does . More than I want my tax payers dollars to cover . Think of the Expense it cost to extract the chinese ladies from the West Coast river . The American guy who got lost on the Holdsworth-Jumbo Curcuit . Come on the Holdsworth-Jumbo Curcuit ? These guys are using and abusing our good will . I went on a day hike to Powell hut back in early August when the snow came late, and it was heavy . I got to powell at about 9am and it was empty bar two young ladies, one from Texas the other from Alaska . The were f**ken determined to hike to jumbo and down to Atiwhakatu . It was blowing such a severe Nor-Westerer, you know the kind, clouds were just roaring . The snow was icy slick, it was so cold, and so clagged in you knew it was there for a day or two atleast . They were going to wait for an hour or two then commit .I convinced them reluctantly to just hike on down to Atiwhakatu with me, and stay there the night, maybe hike on over to Mitre, but stay off the tops . It wasn't till we got to an hour from Atiwhakatu they conceded it was probably best to have stayed off the tops . How many times does this happen over here, Waynowski alluded to it, I know it happens all the time . They actually cost our country alot more than is needed or necessary . That money could be spent on helping our own, like what happened to Waynowski with his knee . We need to wake up and realise the true potential of the money that can be made through tourism in our backcountry . We live in a capitalist society and we needed to make the most of it, especially in this super tight economic climate .
holdsworth jumbo is a classic, at mid waiohine hut, moste of the entries in the log book were people who too a wrong turn off mt holdsworth in bad visibility and went west instead of south.... obviously none of them used a compass and map, i mean... jumbo hut their destination is at the bushline and mid waiohine is at the bottom of the valley... and all these people just kept going even though they couldnt find a hut at the bushline.... so you can see how situations can turn sour easily the saving grace on the tongariro crossing are the bus companies... they only run in favourable weather. that alone would have saved countless rescues and some lives, if you see people doing it in summer clothes, carrying a plastic bag only with some food in it... people in jandals.. i did it on labour weekend, it was minus six when i started. later in the day a freezing southerly came in. if it had rained there would have been a lot of very cold people . i saw some people stare in disbelief as i was pulling a lot of warm clothes out of my pack at the hut. like i was mad for bringing it all... similar story on mt ruapehu just less people, mate of mine was up there,, minus five, southerly front forecast and people were up there in summer street clothes.... i was up there once, it was raining, then in a minute the water froze and i was totally covered in a layer of ice. hut rangers always have stories about ill prepared foreigners and trying to talk them out of doing tracks. not always succeeding, the odd person has turned up on great walks with a suitcase... people think they can buy food in the huts...
1 deleted post from izogi
I really disagree. Charging for SAR has come up several times in the forums here. Firstly, if you speak to nearly anyone who actually rescues people, they'll tell you that it'd be silly to charge for it. (People won't ask for it when they actually need it, yadiyadiyada.) Last time we had a significant discussion about this ( ) a chap popped in having taught SAR skills in 6 countries and reckoned NZ had a brilliant system by comparison. Secondly, tourists to New Zealand pay tax through GST and through any holiday jobs they pick up. They pay tax indirectly through the extra company tax for all the money they spend. Any time they travel anywhere whether it's by a car they own or on some kind of public transport, they're either directly paying an ACC levy, or they're subsidising it, and the ACC levy acts as the insurance for funding a rescue if they injure themselves. Only a very tiny number of tourists who pay such taxes and levies actually need rescuing. They're taxpayers too, though, and it just happens that a possibly slightly higher proportion of their tax goes into funding a government service that actually benefits them. Thirdly, creating and funding a new system to track down and extract money from people who don't pay (especially if they've gone home overseas) would very possibly cost more than just paying for the rescues. Fourthly, what do you do with people who have no insurance and can't afford to pay? Fifthly, as waynowski indicated, Police still *can* choose to prosecute someone for acting stupidly and wasting police time if they think it's warranted. There's nothing to legally prevent Police for charging an amount for the rescue even if it wasn't something reckless. Police just haven't done it yet. I think they came close a few years back when they rescued the same guy from the same place in the Ruahines three weekends in a row. (He was a kiwi.) Sixthly, considering many rescue operations in New Zealand involve lots of voluntary effort, calculating and splitting any charge fairly is a big problem? Why should someone volunteer if a rescued person pays the police but not the LandSAR searchers? Seventhly, with improvements in emergency communications technology in recent years and greater popularity (notably EPIRBS) search and rescue ops are likely to be much cheaper than they were previously thanks to the lower emphasis on having to spend so much time searching. (Someone else would have the figures on this, though.) Eightly, I think tourist incidents are often more noticed and highlighted by the media, but looking back at media reports of rescues since late November, rescue ops involving foreign tourists are small compared with rescue ops involving locals. By my rough count there have been 27 SAR ops involving New Zealanders (or at least NZ residents), compared with 7 for tourists. That's also only counting ops in the back-country or comparable situations. It ignores all the SAR stuff that occurs off the coast, in suburban areas searching for suicide victims, and so on. 26-11-2011: 1*British -- British Tourist Breaks Ankle: 27-11-2011: 3*NZ -- Three drunk teenagers rescued from Hutt gorge: 28-11-2011: 2*NZ -- Two NZ'rs rescued around Silver Peaks: 30-11-2011: 1*Australia -- Australian boy hits head at hut whilst attaching crampons: 4-12-2011: 1*NZ (death) -- NZ'r swept away in swollen river: 8-12-2011: 2*Aus -- Australians lost off Great Walk: 9-12-2011: 2*Singaporean & Taiwanese (deaths) -- 2 women swept away near Franz Josef when crossing swollen creek away from track: 9-12-2011: 1*NZ (death) -- man falls off track near Adelaide Tarn: 11-12-2011: 1*NZ -- man falls and hurts leg in Kahurangis: 11-12-2011: 4*NZ -- family gets lost in Tararuas between Tarn Ridge and Mitre Flats: 12-12-2011: 2*NZ -- lost in bush and call for help with cellphone: 15-12-2011: 1*NZ -- man suffers abdominal pain at Top Maropea Hut, Ruahines: 19-12-2011: 1*German -- tourist tries to short-cut down bluff and gets stuck: 19-12-2011: 2*NZ -- couple lost in Eastbourne bush near Wellington overnight: 21-12-2011: 2*NZ -- father and son trying to walk around Wellington South Coast, mis-judged distance and stuck outside overnight sparking rescue: 22-12-2011: 1*NZ -- man rolls ankle in Aoraki Mt Cook NP, discovered by passing DOC worker.: 28-12-2011: 1*Israel -- climber falls and lands on ledge: 29-12-2011: 1*NZ -- man with bad arthritis sets off EPIRB: 1-1-2012: 1*NZ -- hunter waits out bad weather but very overdue, found by helicopter: 1-1-2012: 1*USA -- inexperienced man gets lost at Totara Flats (Tararuas), can't find way out: 1-1-2012: 1*NZ (death) -- experienced man (from TTC) falls and dies when attempting Mt Twilight: 1-1-2012: 1*NZ (death) -- boy swept over waterfall and lodged in chasm for many hours: 2-1-2012: 1*NZ (though living in Australia, death) -- man falls and dies during Dobson's loop, Tarauas. 7-1-2012: 1*NZ -- man with chest pains rescued from Te Urewera NP when son walks out: 9-1-2012: 1*NZ -- solo hunter dies when falling off steep mountain face, Mt Aspiring NP: 9-1-2012: 1*NZ -- man falls off track into river in Richmond Range, friend reports with mountain radio: 12-1-2012: 1*NZ -- woman falls off Castle Rock in Hawkes Bay after unclipping abseiling gear. 13-1-2012: 4*NZ -- mountain runners rescued in Arthurs Pass NP: 13-1-2012: 4*NZ -- another 4 mountain runners rescued in Arthurs Pass NP: 14-1-2012: 1*NZ -- man missing when swimming on Whanganui River: 14-1-2012: 0*NZ -- rescue launched after EPIRB malfunctioned at the bottom of someone's pack near Punakaiki: 15-1-2012: 1*NZ -- man swimming in Hutt Gorge (Tararuas) didn't return to car: 17-1-2012: 1*NZ -- 77 year old woman fell 10 metres off bluff, rolled 40 metres: 20-1-2012: 1*NZ -- teenager in a group of 5 gets rescued when tubing after becoming hypothermic. (Rest of group also collected.): I think that's the most recent one that's hit the media.
thankfully I think most tourists havent discovered the rougher tracks frequented by NZers and they are saved from worse fates by this fact. i saw an australian comment on a forum that nz and tasmania are poles apart because nz doesnt have anywhere near the amount of mud that tasmania does.... i could introduce him to a few areas that would quickly change his mind about that.... plus tourist operators like the ones on the tongariro crossing are doing a public service by not taking people there when the weather is bad. Nzers are looking for new and different places to explore having done the main tramps so they end up where the country is rougher. while ther are a lot of tourists compared to kiwis, kiwis are doing a higher volume of total trips in new zealand so the odds increase for something to happen to them... also the competence of tourists in reality varies greatly, there are large volumes of them, a lot oith low competence but there are still a lot with reanable to high competence in the outdoors, my initial tongue in cheek post is obviously aimed at the ill prepared ones. i've seen enough totally ill prepared ones to consider it useful to posting such a message.. i see people totally oblivious to the potential for trouble. usually they get through, only because when the weather turns bad they can keep going, but somewhere someone slows down too much in bad weather on a rough track and gets to cold. or gets injured and they dont have the gear to keep them warm until help arrives.
A question or 2 Is it compulsury for visitors to have travel insurance? It should be Can rescues be charged against this travel insurance? Once again it should be but a thorn in this plan is that insurance companies are going to want to know if a tourist intends to go tramping and up the premiums if they are. If they decline to take the tramping extension then go tramping the insurance is not going to pay. If the powers that be dont pursue the debt the insurance wont pay other claims even if the insured person had the tramping extension. Unfortuanatly its a fact of life that the serious rescues happen in serious country but silly rescues that can be just as life threatening and take far longer and cost more are in the easy places. Why is the Orongaonga rive the most deadly in the lower north island? Most of the time its barely a trickle in a wide valley. Ive seen it bank to bank but thats not when it kills people either. Its when its still in the channels but its not obvious that those channels could be 10 feet deep Why are there so many rescues on beach tracks
It isn't compulsory and, in my opinion, nor should it be. The implication is: If you can't afford can't do it. Nonsense. Is it compulsory for Kiwis to have insurance when they go bush.....No, so why should 'foreigners' as this thread has a want to call us "non Kiwis". Many of us are very experienced and very well prepared, as to are many Kiwis, so I'm not sure how this idea would be implemented...a questionaire.....? This topic has been covered many times here on Tramper and no doubt it will continue to be so, but I fear that some of the comments here smack of an 'us and them' mentality...and unfortunately it would also appear that the 'them' are somehow less responsible, less knowledgable and more at risk than anyone born and bred in the land of the long white cloud. Sadly this rash generalisation is quite unfair and unwarrented. I have Kiwi friends who would have trouble finding their way out of a car park, and 'foreign' friends who have climbed the highest peaks on every continent on earth. None of this of course addresses the initial problems with people requiring rescue, but simply reducing it to a question of who should be allowed out bush and who shouldn't based on their ability to pay an 'insurance' is not the my humble opinion....!
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Forum Visiting New Zealand
Started by waynowski
On 21 January 2012
Replies 27
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