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November 2013 Issue
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Expeditioning 101

Being able to fix essential gear like boots on an expedition could be the difference between success and failure. Photo: Supplied
Moving from weekend trips to long expeditions through remote areas is made easier with these helpful pointers, writes Christian Martin

Get into an expedition mindset. You can’t ‘make-do’ until you get home on Sunday night. Take the time to look after yourself mentally and physical for prolonged periods and during testing conditions. Be in it for the long haul!

Get the right team. Get on the same page. Agree on goals and contingencies.

Plan. Plan. Plan. Get as much information as you can before you start. Get logistics, such as food drops, in place. Have a plan B and a plan C. Once you’re in the hills, access to helpful information gets much harder.

Have good gear and the tools and ability to fix it. It could be fixing the shoulder strap of your pack, repairing a malfunctioning stove or a rip in your tent fly, or sewing the sole back onto your boot – being able to repair integral pieces of gear is essential to enable continued safe and efficient travel in the backcountry.

Eat real food. Instant soup and noodles won’t be enough. Take a variety of tasty and nutritious food. Work out a balanced diet and be sure to take enough – but not too much.

Know what to do when things go wrong. Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it – best learnt on a remote area first aid course. Carry a communication device and know when and how to use it. The life you save could be your own

– Christian Martin has completed a 26-day, 280km west-east traverse of the South Island. You can read his account of that trip in a future issue of Wilderness

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