You’ve decided you’re going to head out on a mission. Set yourself up for success by making sure you tick these planning boxes:
Route. Do your research! Perhaps you are using a Wild Things route or a DOC route. Print out or screenshot the instructions and map (or both). Download the GPX to your watch if you can. Always have a backup form of navigation. I have the Topo 50 app which is gold and works offline so I always have the info I need. Tell someone where you are going, and how long you expect to be. If all your nav is on a device – make sure it’s charged and will last the trip!
- Weather. Know the weather, and if you’re heading higher into the mountains, know what the weather is doing up there too! It can be a lot colder and windier on the tops and you need to be prepared. My favourite apps are Windy and YR.
- If you’re going alpine, you’ll need to check avalanche risk as well. It’s good to remember that there can be avi risk in valleys as well if they are in a run-out line. DOC is a great source of information along with the NZ Avalanche Advisory.
- Gear. Have the right gear for the right terrain and conditions, and don’t forget your safety gear! Once you’ve checked off your previous info you’ll know what to take. I get we like to go light but don’t skimp. Don’t know what gear to take? Ask your running community – or hit me up!
- Nutrition and Hydration. Your fuel can be the difference between a great time and a miserable slog. Plan for the expected…and then take more than you think you need. It’s better to have the extra weight than have to go unforeseen hours without food or water.
If you are going with others don’t rely on their knowledge. If you’re a newbie, ask lots of questions so that you can be involved in the planning. Find out about the route, you’ll feel a whole lot more confident, and you’ll be safer if you are armed with a plan.
Be social. Be bold and adventure alone. However you do it, just be prepared!