Need for speed

Wild People

Josh Gale talks biting the dust, broken bones and the thrill of speed with up and coming downhill racer Oscar Tatom Sitting on a mountain bike at the top of...

Kiwi in Kamchatka

Wild People

Josh Gale meets a young explorer mixing it with the world’s best Exertion in subzero conditions don’t seem a natural fit for blond and jagged-haired Hayden Cockburn who lives near...

Survival skill #1 – Make fire

Survival Skills

Making a fire in a desperate situation will do more than warm you; it will lift spirits and offer hope – two essential ingredients for any successful survival situation Tinder...

Stranded in deepest Fiordland

Wild Survival

The forces of nature conspired against wild man David Guise, writes Josh Gale After nearly being killed in a dramatic flood in Fiordland, 72-year-old David Guise’s wife has said no...

Searchers confront demons

Wild Survival

Flashbacks, mood swings and disturbed sleep are all part of the emotional toll search and rescue volunteers pay, writes Josh Gale Search and rescue operations can take a heavy toll...

Six days lost

Wild Survival

An English tourist contemplates life and things left unsaid during a six day ordeal lost in Kahurangi National Park, by Josh Gale James Esbester planned on going for a leisurely...

Lost on Lomond

Wild Survival

Lucky find saves a cold and wet day tripper from an uncomfortable night out, by Josh Gale For a person at risk of hypothermia, Silvia Horniakova acted with surprising calm....

Going the distance

Wild People

In a quest to find out who she is, Lisa Tamati runs insane distances, by Josh Gale   Lisa Tamati has seen emperor penguins in the desert. They watched her...

Clubs rally around after quake

Walkshorts

The devastating earthquake in Christchurch on February 22 may have ruined the city, but it also brought out the best in members of local tramping clubs. Alan Ross, a member...

Tea with the Taliban

Wild Read

Travels in Afghanistan By Ian Robinson Bateman Publishing, $29.95 When most of us think of Afghanistan all we picture is “death and destruction”. But travel writer Ian Robinson says while...

The long path of a Chapple

Te Araroa Trail

Rabble-rouser, visionary, patriot, writer and advocate. Geoff Chapple believes with patience and a little support a good idea can alter the landscape of society. If proof were needed, the 3000km...

First to the top

Wild People

Australian climber and award winning author Greg Child is the headline act at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival Greg Child’s reputation stands out in the climbing world like the...

Wulf

Wild Read

By Hamish Clayton Penguin, $30 Wulf is a fact-based novel about the great Maori chief Te Rauparaha. It’s told like a fireside tale by two English sailors manning an historic...

Tramping clubs 2.0

Features, Wild Club

In the fast-moving digital age, traditional tramping clubs are struggling to adapt and recruit new and younger members. Josh Gale looks at what they’re up against in the wired world...

Falls! Drownings! Exposure!

Wild Safety

Josh Gale finds injury and worse awaits many who venture into our most popular tramping grounds Every year at least a couple of hundred trampers get into strife while exploring...

World Climbing: Rock Odyssey

Wild Read

World Climbing: Rock Odyssey By Simon Carter, Onsight Photography and Publishing $79.90 Simon Carter’s World Climbing: Rock Odyssey is more than a book of astonishing rock climbing photography. The 178 page...

The Huts that People Build

Wild Huts

Josh Gale meets community groups building and maintaining their own backcountry huts Huts; even children love to make them. We start out with old boxes, furniture and blankets when we’re...

The heart of design

Features

New and improved outdoor gear hits the racks nearly every season. Josh Gale talks to some of New Zealand’s outdoor brands about design, designers, innovation and fabric. It’s a fine...

Keeping boot buying simple

Wild Gear

Josh Gale goes in search of the perfect pair of tramping boots Who would’ve thought buying a pair of boots could be so tough? With the numerous brands, price positions,...

Clueless Jafa to backcountry Jedi

Skills

Wilderness staff writer Josh Gale learns there’s more to going bush than knowing how to read a map Staring out across the river valley toward the snow capped Southern Alps,...

The pilloried trail

Features

Auckland’s Hillary Trail has come under fire for being too tough, poorly maintained and hardly ever walked. Josh Gale laces up his boots to find out what all the fuss...

Wind from a distant summit

Wild Read

The story of New Zealand’s leading woman mountaineer By Pat Deavoll Craig Potton Publishing $40.00 In many areas of life, the achievements of women often don’t get the same plaudits...

Escape the apocalypse!

Wild Survival

Learning the skills of bush survival is spawning a new form of outdoor recreation discovers Josh Gale Growing up in the African desert, Ryan Hunt was stung by scorpions, bitten...

Keeping fit and the forest alive

Conservation

The swarm of introduced predators munching New Zealand’s native flora and fauna have inadvertently spawned what could be the country’s most patriotic form of outdoor recreation. Josh Gale talks with...

History and scenery close to Auckland

Wild Trips

Incline Track, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park Only a 6km drive from Titirangi, the Slip-Pipeline-Incline Track loop offers an easy half day hike for city dwellers short on time. But beware,...

No trace found

Features, Missing person

Every year LandSAR personnel recover either the living or the dead from the wilderness, but sometimes no trace is ever found. Josh Gale investigates cases of trampers who’ve vanished into...

Oft ignored range close to cities

Wild Trips

Hapuakohe Walkway (southern section), Hapuakohe Range While searching for a place to tramp with a pretence of altitude within coo-ee of Auckland, I fell upon the unusual Hapuakohe Range in...

Mud, sweat and madness

Features

There’s a strange phenomenon occurring on tramping tracks throughout the country. Super fit men and women wearing bright shoes, skin-tight leggings and carrying skimpy packs are running New Zealand’s toughest...

The truth about avalanches

Natural Disaster

Avalanche fatalities in New Zealand are low compared to many other nations, but experts here say that is more down to luck than anything else Ending up in a wheelchair...

Winter hike in Wanaka

Wild Trips

Fern Burn Hut, Motatapu Station Pastoral Lease It was my first visit to Wanaka and low cloud sat above the town shrouding the mountains. DOC visitor centre staff said residents...

Hard graft in the mountains

Outdoor careers

Taking people mountain climbing for a living may sound swell, but Josh Gale discovers New Zealand has a shortage of professional mountain guides for good reason Professional mountain guide Mike...

Good bacteria

Diversions

Getting a protein fix in the hills is as simple as opening a dehy bag of food – but what if you want fresh meat? After a long day tramping...

Storm brewing over Milford

Conservation

Is getting tourists to Milford Sound more quickly about creating a better visitor experience or turning a quick buck? Josh Gale investigates Department of Conservation Director-General Alistair Morrison received an...

Lake Hawea from above

Wild Trips

Sawyer Burn Track, Kidds Bush Recreation Reserve Sawyer Burn Track looked steep and uninviting. Beech forest blocked the sinking afternoon sun, promising a chilly journey to Sawyer Burn Hut and...

Hutless in the north

Features, Wild Huts

The upper North Island is often touted as the winterless north, but trampers from the area say that’s not the case and more backcountry huts are needed.  Leading a group...

A waterfall that won’t disappoint

Wild Trips

Te Tapahoro Bay via Tarawera Falls, Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve Waterfalls aren’t usually a part of the natural world I’m drawn to unless they’re big and powerful. I usually find...

Rakiura time

Features, Great Walks

Josh Gale walks Rakiura Track on its 10th anniversary and finds much to celebrate, including an excuse to become as lazy and slow as he likes on the island of...

Alone in the wild

Features

Every time someone dies alone in the backcountry media reports often blast solo tramping as dangerous and irresponsible. But going alone might be better for you than you think Heavy rain...

Talking with the forest

Features

During a 200km test of endurance and survival, adventurer Mark Jones received one critical lesson from the New Zealand bush: the forest was on his side. Spot number 1313 stood...

Winning shots

Wild People

Chris Thompson provides an outlet for outdoor photographers to showcase their work. Driving past Lake Tekapo in pouring rain on a frigid winter day, Chris Thompson pulled over to snap...

Gulf island’s bright future

Waypoints

Home Bay, Motutapu Island, Hauraki Gulf Marine Reserve Camping at Home Bay on Motutapu Island on Auckland Anniversary Weekend made me wish I could live for 100 years. If the...

Voices from the cold

Features

When the Department of Conservation announced it was planning to bin 140 positions, two affected staffers decided to speak out about the damage the cuts will do to DOC and...

Moving to the mountains

Features

For outdoorsy people, living in a city far from the mountains is like a yachtie living in Mt Cook Village. Josh Gale finds out what it takes to up sticks...

Going the hard way

Wild People

Marty Schmidt is quite possibly the best climber you’ve never heard of. Denali Schmidt has a big name to live up to. Not just in terms of the 6194m mountain...

New Zealand’s greatest challenge

Conservation

Every year introduced predators kill an estimated 26 million native birds, yet ending their reign of terror might be easier than you think For the 850 residents of Great Barrier/Aotea...

The future of maps

Features

Trampers can often be found drooling over maps as they search for the next big trip, but are paper maps becoming a thing of the past? Three months after the...

Land your dream job

Features

Personality and life experience are the key ingredients for landing your dream outdoor job, discovers Josh Gale While New Zealand’s office workers sit stationary in front of computer screens for...