SAFETY ON WALKS



Plan your trip properly and make sure your group has a capable leader. For overnight or multi day hikes you will need to carry a sleeping bag, cooking utensils, sufficient food, basic first aid kit and adequate waterproof/warm clothing including gloves and hat.

Rees Dart Track Dart Glacier closeFitness
Weather
River Crossings
Avalanches/Slips
Fires
Lost
Injury or illness
Water
Toilets
What to take
Clothing
Personal equipment
Food
Off Peak Winter Season
Equipment
Intention forms and safety

Fitness
Physical fitness and good equipment will make all the difference to your enjoyment of the trip.

Weather
Although the tracks are not closed in winter, snow may make travel very difficult, even on the valley floors. Check with the DOC in Queenstown for information on snow conditions. Always check the weather forecast before entering the area.
Register your intentions at the Glenorchy Information Centre, located at the Glenorchy Hotel before you start your trip, and remember to sign out at the end of your trip.

Safety beacons can be hired from the Glenorchy Information Centre located at the Glenorchy Hotel. Up to date weather forecasts are available from Glenorchy Information Centre, but remember the weather can change so be prepared.

Snow in the Greenstone ValleyRiver Crossings
Always cross streams and rivers with care. Side streams and rivers can rise quickly during heavy rain. Levels will drop rapidly once rain stops. If you are caught between streams which are in flood, seek higher ground and wait for water levels to drop.
Hikers should register intentions at the Glenorchy Information Centre located at the Glenorchy Hotel before you start your trip and remember to sign out at the end of your trip.

Avalanches/Slips
Avalanches or slips can occur (especially in October and early November), flooding and high winds (which can occur at any time) may cause certain parts of the track to become impassable. Walkers due to start on the track may be unable to proceed.

Check with the Glenorchy Information Centre located at the Glenorchy Hotel for information on snow conditions and avalanche and slip risk areas.

Fires
Fire is a major threat within Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks and open fires are not permitted.

LostLost
Keep to the track at all times. If you become lost, STOP, find shelter and stay calm – you will survive. Put on extra clothing and try and assist searchers if you hear them searching for you.

Injury or illness
If any injury or illness occurs during the Great Walks Peak Season the Department of Conservation hut wardens should be contacted. They will be able to arrange emergency evacuation from the track if required. There is no cellphone coverage on the track.

Water
To avoid dehydration you will need to drink regularly while walking, even on cooler days. As you may not be able to find water on the track you should carry some with you.
Drinking water at the huts and shelters comes from nearby rivers, lakes or roof catchments and is not treated.
Giardia may be present in some areas. Regular testing is not carried out. If you wish to treat water, boil it for five minutes, use a filter or chemically treat it.

Toilets
Please use toilets at the huts and shelters. If this is not possible, bury toilet waste well away from watercourses. Remember: Drinking water at the huts and shelters comes from rivers and lakes.

What to take
The following gear is essential, no matter how warm it is on the day of departure. Most equipment is available for hire or purchase in Te Anau and Queenstown. A full range of food is available from supermarkets in Te Anau and at Glenorchy General Store. Basic stores are also available at Milford Sound.

Clothing
You will need at least one set of clothes to walk in and another dry set to change into at night.
It is not possible to dry clothes in the huts. It is essential that this clothing is carried as your safety and the safety of others could well depend on it.
NOTE: cotton clothing such as jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts are not suitable. Polypropylene, which is quick drying (but can be flammable), is recommended.
• Boots: need to be comfortable and well broken in
• Socks: (wool/polypropylene) 2 pairs
• Shorts: (nylon)
• Shirt: (wool/polypropylene)
• Longjohns/trousers: (wool/polypropylene)
• Jersey/jacket: (wool/polar fleece)
• Undershirts/T-shirt: (wool/polypropylene)
• Gloves: (wool/polypropylene)
• Raincoat: (waterproof, windproof with hood)
• Over trousers (wind and water proof)
• Woollen hat/balaclava, sunhat and sunglasses
• Extra socks, underwear, shirt or lightweight jersey

Safety on WalksPersonal equipment
• Pack: with large waterproof/plastic liner
• Sleeping bag: good quality down or hollofil
• Matches/ lighter: in waterproof container
• Torch: spare batteries
• Eating utensils: knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup
• Cooking utensils: pot/pan/billy and cleaning utensils
• Toilet gear: soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, small towel (do not wash or use soap in lakes or streams)
• First aid kit: insect repellent, sunscreen, blister kits, pain relief, assorted bandages
• Survival Kit: survival blanket, whistle, paper, pencil, high energy snack food
• Drink bottle: 1 - 2 litre capacity (you need to drink regularly during the day)
• Optional extras: camera, lightweight shoes for in hut, ear plugs for communal bunkrooms (you will be sharing huts with up to 40 trampers)

Food
Food is not available for purchase on the track.
Food should be lightweight, fast cooking and high in energy value e.g: cereal, firm bread, honey or other spreads, cracker biscuits, cheese, salami, fruit, instant soup, pasta/rice, dried vegetables/fruit, cheese or dehydrated (freeze dry) meals, tea/coffee, powdered fruit drink, emergency food in case of any delays on the track.

Glenorchy Information Centre and General Store, located at the Glenorchy Hotel, supplies these items for any last minute shopping prior to departure.

Alpine ChoppersOff Peak Winter Season (May to Mid October)
During the Off Peak/Winter Season the tracks remains open, weather and track conditions permitting. Some bridges are removed to avoid damage from avalanches and some facilities are not available. No bookings are required but some Hut Tickets are necessary.

Huts may not have running water but a nearby water supply will be available. Radios, gas cooking rings, lighting, fuel for heating are also removed. Flush toilets are closed but winter pit toilets are provided.

DOC staff are not always present on the track and their availability should not be relied on in event of an emergency.

Outside the Great Walks Peak Season walkers have to be totally self sufficient and should only be attempted by experienced, well-equipped parties.

Always check current weather and avalanche conditions before departing on your trip.

Equipment
In addition to the equipment listed for walking during the Peak Great Walks Season you should also carry: gas cooker, toilet paper, torch or gas light for at night in hut, extra food in case you are delayed on the track, extra warm clothing, mountain radio or personal locator beacon (PLB).

Intention forms and safety
During winter for your own safety, intention forms should be completed at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau. Please don’t forget to sign out. Intentions forms can also be left in the box outside the DOC office in Glenorchy.

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