It's easy to Get Outdoors

19th November 2021|2min

First published as a guest blog for Recreation Aotearoa

It's Get Outdoors Week 2021 and we are supporting one of our partners, Recreation Aotearoa, by encouraging people to get out ‘on a track from the Plan My Walk app and to be in to win a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). 


TO WIN: On Sunday, 28th of November, snap a photo of you out on a track that you chose from Plan My Walk and be into win a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Use #GOWeekNZ to go in the draw.  


If there is ever an excuse to get outdoors, it’s the annual NZ Get Outdoors Week. Although, here at the NZ Mountain Safety Council, we never need an excuse to enjoy what we are so lucky to have right at our doorstep. However, sometimes it can be difficult to muster up the motivation and find the inspiration to hit the tracks, no matter the length. This Get Outdoors Week, we are encouraging people here in our amazing country to find a local track and get planning using our brand-new trip planning app, Plan My Walk. It can be anything from discovering a nearby track or planning an overnight trip in the local area using the app.  

Aotearoa’s tramping and walking culture is unique to this part of the world, from chatting to strangers in a hut, exchanging notes on track conditions to sharing experiences online or in stories. Our great outdoors is so much more than just a place to explore, it’s part of the fabric and culture of Aotearoa. This culture sits at the heart of Plan My Walk and is the driver for many of its unique trip planning and track finding features - all of which can be helpful this Get Outdoors Week. 

The concept of the app was triggered by the results of on-going in-depth incident analysis we conducted over the last five years. It clearly indicates that a concerning number of trampers who either sustain an injury, require search and rescue assistance, or tragically never make it home, are mostly avoidable prevented or their seriousness reduced. 
 
The solution is to encourage thorough trip planning and preparation, and sound decision-making while out in the tracks, our Chief Executive Mike Daisley says.

“It’s really easy to underestimate the importance of quality planning and preparation, there are lots of little things that can be easily overlooked, or if you’re new to tramping or day walks, how do you know where to start and how do you effectively make a trip plan.

“When combined, these small gaps in planning can have a big impact on your safety, conversely, it’s often the little details that go a long way to improving your safety,” Mike says.

Planning made easy

The in-depth analysis results found that being ‘unprepared for the weather conditions caused 12% of tramping related search and rescues (SAR), a ‘lack of warm layered clothing and/or a waterproof jacket’ caused 13%, and an ‘overambitious choice of route, lack of sufficient fitness and taking longer than expected to reach the destination’ caused 30% of tramping related SAR, over a seven-year period from 2012 to 2019. 

We considered a range of prevention solutions that could effectively reduce safety incidents that were caused by ineffective planning which ignited the Plan My Walk spark. Now that Plan My Walk is live, we are excited by its potential.  
 
It has over 1000 tracks, each with details about the essential information to help you build a plan. This also includes MetService weather, track alerts, user’s trip reviews and a customisable gear list, it’s easy. You can then add your own trip notes, daily schedules and documents to share with friends to share and save with an emergency contact. Even for a bush walk, or a day walk after work, the app can inspire you to get outdoors and make a solid trip plan to make sure you make it home.


TO WIN: On Sunday, 28th of November, snap a photo of you out on a track that you chose from Plan My Walk and be into win a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Use #GOWeekNZ to go in the draw.    

  • Download the app, Plan My Walk, from your preferred app store, or check it out online at www.planmywalk.nz.

Photos: Header: MSC Team at Putuna Chasm, packing with Plan My Walk, Caleb Smith.