Day Hikes gear

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5 essential things to do before you go to ensure you have a great trip and make it home.


New Zealand's fast-changing weather and challenging terrain can be deadly. Choose adventures that match your skill level, always pack prepared and make sure you have enough to eat and drink – it’s how we stay safe. Check the conditions, make sure you have the right gear and tell someone where you’re going.

Outdoor Safety Code

1. Plan your trip

Seek local knowledge, plan your route and allow a reasonable amount of time.

View the Planning a trip in the backcountry? brochure (PDF, 668K).

2. Tell someone

Let someone know your plans and when to raise the alarm if you haven't returned.

Your trusted contact can be someone in New Zealand or someone overseas. If your trusted contact is in New Zealand, ask them to call the Police on 111 if you don't return; if your trusted contact is overseas, ask them to call the alternative emergency services number, +64 4 381 2000, if you don't return.

If you don't have a trusted contact, complete the Outdoor Intentions Form.

3. Be aware of the weather

New Zealand's weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the forecast and expect weather changes.

New Zealand's weather changes very fast - it can be sunny in the morning and a storm in the afternoon. Make sure you're carrying warm and waterproof clothes.

If you're going into an alpine area, be avalanche alert as they can occur in any season.

4. Know your limits

Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.

Make sure the walk you're doing is suitable for your fitness, outdoors skills and experience, and the weather on the day - walks that are easy in good weather can become difficult in wet or cold conditions.

While you're walking, regularly check in with yourself about how you're doing. If the walk is too hard, weather conditions are deteriorating or you're running out of time to complete the trip, consider turning back, staying an extra night or changing your route to a shorter or easier option.

5. Take sufficient supplies

Take enough food, equipment and clothing and emergency rations - plus an appropriate means of communication for the worst-case scenario.

You should have enough food and water for an extra day and warm and waterproof clothes for if the weather turns bad.

Carry a torch, first aid kit, navigational equipment and a communications device. You can't rely on your cellphone as there isn't reception on most tracks. If you're going on a long trip, going somewhere remote or going by yourself, consider carrying a personal locator beacon. These can be hired from many outdoor supplies stores.

Outdoor Safety Code resources

  1. Plan your trip
  2. Tell someone your plans
  3. Be aware of the weather
  4. Know your limits
  5. Take sufficient supplies

About the Outdoor Safety Code

The Outdoor Safety Code is a whole of New Zealand approach to outdoor safety.

The group backing the Outdoor Safety Code includes the Department of Conservation, New Zealand Search and Rescue Council, Mountain Safety Council, Land Search and Rescue, the Police, Tourism New Zealand, ACC, Tourism Industry Association, Sport New Zealand, and the Walking Access Commission.

Other safety codes

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