Things you'd like to tell trampers from overseas
I'm following the forum for quite a while now. I'm about to set up a small business in Germany advising people on non-guided tramping in a few selected countries/regions including NZ. I'm trying to follow an integrated approach as much as possible so that my clients are fully prepared for what to expect when they go tramping. I'm interested to know from you: What are the most important things you would like to tell visitors from overseas who come to New Zealand for tramping? It can be in regard to safety, track etiquette and behaviour, experiences you have made or situations you have been in with international trampers or whatever you find important I should also let my clients know. I appreciate your feedback, thanks, Happy Easter Daniel PS: I know the articles about the basics, I am interested about your opinion.
Get a 6-month hut pass. Using hut facilities is not Freedom Camping. A hut pass gives you toilets, beds, kitchens, stoves and shelter from the wet. It's cheap and maintains things.
"Get a hut pass" Same goes for a few locals too. I'm thinking there should be a secure, waterproof pouch available so your Hut Pass can be quite clearly visible on your pack. And if ain't there a polite, but pointed, "Where is it mate?" would be in order.
If people really want to see my hut pass they can ask me and I'll show them, but until now I've never been asked, though I made a voluntary warden look at it once. Making it perpetually visible just in case seems a bit overkill in some areas, doesn't it? It's still not an excuse to avoid paying, though. For as long as we have hut fees I'd prefer people just paid the relatively small amount than have to spend heaps making sure they do.
I'm thinking that expectations around Hut Passes need re-calibrating a bit. If the social norm was to have them clearly visible, then fairly quickly it would all become a non-issue.
I'd like to see some convictions for 'tresspass' make their way onto social media. It's not so much the conviction, rather the weight of guilt to persuade the right behavior.
For starters not everyone uses the huts. Some people actually prefer not to. Then, a lot of huts are not owned by the DoC, so your '6 month pass' doesn't help you much there visible or not sorry. Also, I think convicting someone of trespass can only happen on private land or such, and if they even could I'm not sure how much jurisdiction the DoC would have in regards to civilians. I mean can you picture the average DoC warden having to detain some local in areas such as the Ureweras etc.. :) Just saying
@pipeking Which are all fair points. I'm not suggesting DoC (or anyone else) should be going round inspecting hut users. All I'm thinking is that people who DO have a valid hut pass make it a normal thing to have it visible on the outside of their pack - then it would fairly quickly become obvious who was playing the game and who was not. Huts are by their nature socially intimate places and it wouldn't take all that much for most people to want to be seen doing the right thing. Frankly if I was going to be backpacking in NZ for more than a week or so I would regard a six month hut pass as pretty good value for money overall. Even if I only used it a handful of times in actual DoC huts.
I'm not sure. We had that other thread about DoC and Police issuing trespass notices for public land on people who are acting like idiots. I reckon it's legally dubious but opinion in that thread still seems to think it's fine because they're annoying others. But that might not be relevant anyway. Conservation law guarantees public access to the land, but not to facilities on the land, and it specifically says charges can be set for facilities. In theory DoC could issue a trespass notice for entering a hut (or a bridge). Thing is, I think that notice needs to actually be issued to an individual before someone is legally trespassing. (Maybe the Trespass Act or some other law has some other kinds of provision though. There are supposedly different issues if you're carrying a firearm.) Conservation law itself doesn't seem specific about what should happen if someone use a facility without paying. There might be another law which covers use of a service or facility without paying the prescribed charge, and defines a penalty, but I don't know what it is. Has anyone ever heard of DoC prosecuting sometime in court? I haven't. Anyway, that's details. If visitors, foreigners or locals, don't pay for huts when they're meant to, we reserve the right to not like them for it.
i still keep my pass in a wallet that lives in a small drybag inside my pack with keys etc for the duration of the trip. Drybag was used because its brightly coloured and easy to find not because it will get wet. The number and expiry of the pass is written in a key tag on the outside of the pack so easy to get and transcribe into the hut book. I started doing this when I found my previous pass was 6 months expired. Twas a little embarrassing going into the Doc office to tell them they had written the wrong date on the pass only to be shown the computer entry. He wanted to sell me a new pass backdated but I couldnt find my credit card and went back when someone else was on the counter.
http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_52/820936/141223-philip-blackwood-kns-3_8ee1b07e9327ae21137cfc2662ef6eeb.jpg 2 years hard labour. Try drawing a picture of Mohammed ?. Do the right thing. If you want to use the facilities, buy the hut pass. We'll think you're wonderful. http://media1.giphy.com/media/8vpeyWA3OWOhG/giphy.gif
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