19 Jan 2021

Busting the myth: Are Kiwis or tourists more accident-prone in the outdoors?

7:47 pm on 19 January 2021

The Mountain Safety Council wants to bust the myth that international tourists have the most injuries and trigger more searches than New Zealanders.


Mountain Safety Council chief executive Mike Daisley says this summer's injury figures might be eye-opening as more Kiwis head to the hills and tracks. Photo: Supplied / Mountain Safety Council

With the borders closed, more New Zealanders are expected to head to the hills and tracks with no international visitors on them for the summer.

Mountain Safety Council chief executive Mike Daisley said this summer's injury figures might be quite eye-opening for many.

"For the first time in recent history, we can look at what's going on incident wise with just Kiwis in the mix. As Kiwis, we've always been able to point the finger at international tourists causing a lot of incidents in the outdoors," Daisley said.

"The reality is there's more Kiwis, [we've] have always had this higher propensity for incidents and accidents."

Some of the gear worth taking tramping to stay safe.

Mountain Safety Council chief executive Mike Daisley says a bit of quick research helps people to prepare and take the right supplies. Photo: Supplied / Mountain Safety Council

He was hopeful people would take a few quick steps to ensure they stay safe on the trails.

"The two absolute minimum things is checking the weather before you go, so going on to MetService.com, check the weather the day you're going, the morning you're going. Things can change. And telling someone your plans."

A bit of quick research on the track being taken helped people to prepare, take the right supplies and know if they had the fitness and experience needed for the trail, he said.

The Mountain Safety Council has published a series of videos on iconic tramping tracks and the hazards people should keep in mind while hiking them.

The weather could change quite rapidly so people should pack layers and extra food, he said.

Anyone heading on longer tramps should consider hiring or buying a personal locator beacon to keep themselves safe on the trails, Daisley said.

"If you're new to tramping and getting in our country's outdoors, it's good to ease into it, start small, and ask for advice. It's fantastic to see such an interest and hopefully this will lead to life-long participation in outdoor recreation.

"But as we see this surge in interest, we are also encouraging those users to think about their personal safety and take a few simple steps to ensuring they have a great, safe experience, and make it home."

These are the Mountain Safety Council's tips for keeping safe on the trails this summer:

  • Choose the right trip for you: It pays to learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it
  • Understand the weather: It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed
  • Pack a change of warm clothes and extra food: Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected extra night out
  • Share your plans and take ways to get help: Telling a trusted person your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life
  • Take care of yourself and each other: Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together

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