Is it time to ban alcohol at DOC huts?
It sounds draconian, but bad behaviour at huts where alcohol is being consumed is on the increase. The stories emerging via social media of drunken anti-social behaviour is just appalling. And ruining the experience for others. Since when is "six to seven 24-packs" acceptable in a public hut shared by others including kids? There is no way to police what goes on in these remote places. People are left to deal with yobbos having a night on the booze. A glass of wine with friends is of course fine, or a tipple of whiskey but who is going to supervise what is reasonable... Backcountry huts aren't pubs and shouldn't be treated as such. "Bad behaviour a cause for concern in Fiordland" http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1711/S00233/bad-behaviour-a-cause-for-concern-in-fiordland.htm "Jet boater hits back at DOC accusations" http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11942789
A DOC hut.....in London???
At the time of the post she replied to she was probably comatose under Powel hut just before the booking system came in.
Huts encourage two things in my experience: 1. Groups (I define a group as more than 4 people) 2. Those who wouldn't be there otherwise if they had to be self-sufficient If you're going to build these huts then you have to accept who they attract.
"If you're going to build these huts then you have to accept who they attract." True but at the same time there are things like etiquette. Any group should make the effort to accommodate any others who arrive. That might be by having alternate accommodation or cooking facilities it might be by making sure they make room. It certainly should be by ensuring they dont unduly disturb each other. Ive always threatened if confronted by a party to all hours group to make early breakfast on a dragonfly stove but then I would be as guilty as they are. "Besides, hikers could be carrying significant pain killers and sleep aids and you would never know it. What's the difference between someone drinking a 375 of whiskey and a cup of coffee and 100mg of Tramadol? It's all the same shit." The people that drink 375 are often not the problem although thats more than I drink. Its the 1125s that are the issue. As for Tramadol thats a prescription drug. I dont know how that dose works out. I would hope they are taking it for a reason. I have a friend who is prescribed that much 8 times a day for a back injury that cannot be fixed any further. He is fairly normal at that much.
I've since edited my post Geeves, however my point is that who is anyone to say what is excessive? A litre of whiskey split between two people over a 5 day trip isn't much booze overall. The point is, these people are only there because the hut is there, and they can get dropped off. Remove those options and this never happens. People and huts are the problem, not alcohol.
Thats not wrong. Ive seen heaps of people drink more than I would and never a problem. Ive seen people that are trouble before the first drop. I may already of posted this in this thread. Powel hut about 8 to 10 years ago mid winter and snow on the ground. I was there with HVTC and none of us were drinking. There were 3 other groups in the hut. 2 Groups had carried a stupid amount of booze to the hut and the third group was a mother and about 10 year old son. The first 2 groups were well on the way by the time they got to the hut and continued well after I was asleep. They did apologize upon arriving for the noise they were about to create. I believe it was about 1AM when they crashed. In the morning they were up early and they cleaned everything cleaner than when they arrived and then left. Then the mother and son got up grumbled about the previous nights carryon and cooked breakfast leaving one hell of a mess. I have no objection to a wine with dinner in a hut but I cannot accept them as party places. In saying that though which of the groups had the most respect for the place? Which group would I rather share a hut with? Certainly wasnt that mother and son.
I'd rather have the mother and son. A good night's sleep means a lot to me and cleaning up someone else's mess is a nothing. I do it at nearly every hut I stay at e.g. this morning where it seemed Pinchgut Hut hadn't been properly swept since we stayed there in mid-June. There was a lovely group there who had no booze and went to bed at 9pm and I said, don't worry about trying to sweep it while we're all still here. I guaranteed to do it thoroughly before we go, including removing candle wax from the bench and wiping condensation off the doors and windows. If this group had had booze and wanted to stay up late, I would have put up the tent in the damp frost. We came over the mountain and had banked on people not being able to cross the river to get to the hut but this group were able to cross it after all and very kindly accomodated our later arrival, squeezing up so we could have a mattress each on the top Maori bunk. We don't plan to stay in this hut unless the river is greater than 8 cumecs but it is currently crossable for adults at that flow though waist deep but with minimal current.
Okuku crossable yesterday? I drove up to the ford on Saturday. What I saw would certainly make me turn round which every way I got to it. Even if I was leaving and could see my car that would of been turn and go back to the hut. It was dirty and appeared fast running. A 3 to 4kg rock thrown high towards the center did not make the sound of hitting the bottom. I would of guessed this more like shoulder depth.
@geeves:So...I nearly got to meet you! They said they crossed it at 9.30am and one of them had never been tramping before. They linked up apparently. A couple of the guys were big strong lads and one seemed especially to be experienced. I did think about driving there on Sunday to see what the river was like but decided it wouldn't be a fair judge, being the next day. I know when it's been running at 8 cumecs before that 2 hunters chose not to cross at the ford (by the carpark) and found an easier place downstream. cheers, Honora
NO....NEVER. why punish alk the responsible users. Everyone has cellphones with cameras. Get photos and dob "them" in. I dont want my quite occassional tipple ruined by draconian rules. I just spent 7 months camping in the south island and only had 1 bottle of vodka(miniture) and 6 cans of beer(500ml) in the whole time.
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