I'm interested to hear the group's comments regarding latecomers to huts. As we all know, our backcountry huts are special and unique assets to New Zealand. They are, for the most part, available to the public at a minimal cost on a first-come, first-served basis. All are welcome and I believe most of us act in good faith and welcome fellow travelers when they arrive, sometimes wet and cold and in need of warmth and shelter. However, when does that good-natured, backcountry Kiwi welcome get worn thin? And how do people respond to fellow trampers who do not share our backcountry principles? My patience was spread thin this past weekend at Wharfedale Hut in the Oxford Forest Conservation Area. Me and 5 young German women were peacefully sleeping away when at 12:40am a clamorous group of 5 (4 Czechs and 1 Scot) showed up, ready to party. They made no attempt to quietly approach the hut. It sounded like the aliens had landed and we were all about to be probed. I greeted them at the door and asked incredulously, "Are you all just now arriving at the hut?" The answer was a resounding, "Yes!". "Well, there's 5 of us in the hut." "Hey! That's how many of us there are!" "...and we're all sleeping!" Well, that shut them up a bit and they skulked into the hut and went to bed, their bladders and plastic bottles still filled with rum. These guy were completely clueless that their would-be party house would be occupied by others. They were obtusely rude to approach the hut in full throat at nearly 1am. They were not in the bush to enjoy nature: they were there to par-tay! The kicker was the next morning, when a young man lit a fire outside, only to wander off a short time later. I told him squarely to fully extinguish that fire before leaving the area and that huts often burn down with such ill-thought, unattended fires. "Really?" he asked in disbelief. "Yes... really." Since I haven't heard about Wharfedale Hut burning down in the last day, I'll assume he followed through and extinguished the fire. Have you experienced latecomers to huts? Have you experienced clueless, inconsiderate types who don't care about the people already soundly asleep? How did you handle it?
latecomers must keep quiet, everyone should repsect people sleeping at night. a guy i was with one night was complaining about all the swearing coming from a group of teens... i hoked he should throw the dishwater he had over them, with that he picked up teh pot and in no uncertain terms he told them angrily if they didnt stop their swearing, they would be the next item to be washed by the dish water.. thing is now foreign backpackers often just see huts as cheap or free hostels often dont walk very far and or dont care what time they get up. i was surprised by a canterbury tramping club trip full of veterans getting up early in the morning and constantly talking in a normal tone waking everyone up....
As far as I'm concerned huts are a public resource, used by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, but that privilege comes with an obligation of general respect towards others who are also using it. I'm good with people showing up at any hour, as long as they're reasonably considerate to others present. The same goes with getting up early. Sometimes I think larger groups lose perspective that there might be others around who aren't themselves. In the cases above it sounds like the people who showed up were acting very inconsiderately, and it's fair enough to call them out on it. Weirdly one of the most irritated nights I've had in a hut was in a packed Maketawa Hut in Egmont National Park. The occasional people getting up and going outside to the toilet didn't bother me, even when they accidentally let the door go and it slammed. The person in the room who took it upon themselves to scream out "DON'T SLAM THE DOOR" every time that happened, sometimes including insults, really did annoy me. I guess it's important to be mindful that not everyone has the same idea of what makes good etiquette.
Wharfedale is one of those easily accessed huts that's just far enough away to feel like you've gone bush. And it's ideal for young families because you can drive to the old Tennyson hut site, or at least to the beehives by Moody Stream, and walk the rest without breaking a sweat. But it can also attract apes and weekend boozers. (Monument hut up the Hopkins is another) There's a difference between being late and a conscious nuisance. I think most people understand if you are making every effort to be quiet and retire as quickly as possible. What goes around, comes around methinks. Earplugs help :) (add those to the thread on most useful piece of kit) We try and de-kit outside as much as possible before entering, which can be hard when you're stuffed and just want to eat & crash. We once got into Edwards hut @10pm on a trip over from Hawdon Shelter and everyone had retired, including 2 sleeping in the kitchen dining area. When that happens it's hard not to be self conscious of every rustle. There were bunks available but they chose to sleep out in the common area, so they can't really complain too much. It's more awkward in a climbing hut when you know there are early risers due up soon, but they face the same noise dilemma when they wake up. Again, good earplugs help. The thing that #%!* me off is people who play cards, talk & laugh till the wee hours (often while drinking) and wonder why people get upset! DUH!!! It's a hut not a hostel!
I have just the answer for those late night party types. Breakfast cooked early on an MSR Dragonfly. For those that dont know this stove we set it up once to make coffee for lunch in Smiths creek shelter and stood outside in the rain while it boiled the billy. Earplugs help once again just. People arriving late need to respect those already there which means being as quiet as possible torches on low and aimed at the floor no late night cook ups unless you have to eat etc
I'll see your dragonfly and raise you an MSR XGK. has one mode and one mode only, after burner... you have to hell to be heard above the roar...
Same style and size burner. Shall we call it a draw However the dragonfly can take 1 litre of water and bring it to a rolling boil in a shade over 3 minutes (same as xgk) but then if using white petrol can be turned down till bubbles no longer form in the billy and will run like that as long as you need it to. You can shout over it at simmer
I raise you a LED Lenser on full white beam at 4 am.
Ill raise that with a 2200 lumen hand torch run on 3 aaa batteries. It will dazzle you in sunlight.
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