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Trampers urged to prepare, have plan B before heading out this Easter

Trampers and walkers are urged to keep an eye on the forecast, prepare for changing conditions and have a plan B this Easter.

Hiking and tramping in New Zealand. Travel and adventure concept
The Department of Conservation urged people to check their website for information on tracks, places to go and what to know before heading out. Photo: 123RF

Many are expected to hit the trails this long weekend which marks the rough end of the summer tramping season.

Historic figures from the Mountain Safety Council show Easter weekend has twice the number of tramping injuries, and search and rescues compared to a regular weekend.

Its chief executive Mike Daisley said people tended to make the most of the long weekend and head further afield.

But he said they needed to prepare for shorter, colder days and have a solid plan B in case the weather changes.

"Packing warm clothes, a rain jacket, head torch and spare clothing and appropriate emergency communication device are the absolute minimum regardless of the weather forecast and length of trip.

"It's important to understand your capabilities and skills and make sure you have a 'plan B' decided if something, such as the weather, changes."

He recommended people use the Plan My Walk app to find the right track for their abilities, check for alerts, and for a suggested gear list.

For those planning to track down some iconic Instagram locations, Daisley said people should do some research before heading out.

A photo did not show the sometimes gnarly track to get there, he said.

Gillespie Pass in Otago was one of the popular Instagram hotspots.

But he said it was far more challenging that people realised and has multiple river crossings.

"The track is really hard. It's less of a track, more of a picking your way through rocks alongside riverbanks.

"But the views from the top are epic and that's what people are after. So that's certainly one spot that we can see some real tragedies in that particular location."

Multiple fatalities have occurred in rivers on the Gillespie Pass track.

The Department of Conservation urged people to check their website for information on tracks, places to go and what to know before heading out.

Its visitor safety manager Andy Roberts said Aotearoa's weather could change rapidly at any time of year.

It was important to check the weather right up until you left and be prepared for changing conditions, he said.

"Once you're out there, stick together, and if the weather turns bad or the going is too hard, be prepared to turn back. It's up to you make sound judgements for your safety and the safety of those you are with."

The Mountain Safety Council has a series of videos, called 'Ready Set Go' aimed to help people prepare for Easter adventures, as well as other how-to videos on its website.

source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/465319/trampers-urged-to-prepare-have-plan-b-before-heading-out-this-easter