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Is your brain tricking you into buying the wrong gear?

People often buy gear for the outdoors person they aspire to be - like an above the snowline tramping machine. Photo: Matthew Cattin

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world. 

Buying the gear you think you need rather than the gear you actually need is common – especially with big-ticket items, Outside magazine reports.

“Sometimes this means buying gear that is too advanced out of aspiration. Other times, the opposite occurs: we buy gear that’s lower performance than what we need because we’re worried about our ability not matching up with our equipment,” writes Heather Hansman.

Harvard Business School marketing professor Kate Barasz, who has studied the psychology behind why we buy gear, said people are bad at forecasting and are subconsciously trying to project the best version of themselves, physically and socially.

“They think, ‘I am buying these ski boots for five to seven years, and over that time period I’m going to get better’.” 

The planning fallacy is the same screwy positive self-perception that causes us to make New Year’s resolutions and then purchase items to help us fulfil the resolutions, Hansman writes.

“We want to assume our future self will be better, and it’s nice to think that the right gear will help us get there,” she said.

Read the full story here

Milford Track officially reopens

On Monday November 30, hikers were able to complete the Milford Track end-to-end for the first time since early February.

“The reopening is a milestone in the flood recovery work taking place in the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring national park areas,” Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan said.

“Completing repairs and getting this iconic track back up and running has been a priority for DOC to support the local community and show the area is open and welcoming visitors this summer season.”

$13.7 million was announced in Budget 2020 to go towards repairing conservation and visitor infrastructure destroyed in the February flood. 

Opinion: The party in Queenstown is over

Queenstown restaurateur Darren Lovell has addressed the “bloody big elephant stampeding” through Queenstown” in an Otago Daily Times opinion piece.

“Our elephant, the one thing no one seems to be talking about, is that we are a tourist town with no tourists,” he wrote.

“We can pretend all we like how great the school holidays were, how fantastic marathon weekend was, and yes, I’m told, hang on in there, a travel bubble to Australia will be with us soon.

“We’re a town with no tourists, our population is shrinking and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

“I know we can’t open our borders anytime soon; I know that a travel bubble with Australia is still a way off; I know there aren’t any instant solutions but, please, can we all stop pretending that everything is OK?”

Read his emotional plea here.

Petition for CCTV cameras in Motueka Valley

A petition is calling for a security camera to be installed after a number of vehicle break-ins at Flora car park in the Motueka Valley, Stuff reports.

Tramper Alastair Mark​, who had his wallet and a duffel bag stolen, said the theft was “incredibly frustrating”, and had to put his bank card on hold after $4000 was spent online. 

He posted on the Nelson Tramping Club Facebook page to warn others, and fellow club member Romain Sacchettini​ created a petition and a Givealitte page to raise funds for the surveillance.

Mark said he wasn’t sure what the solution was for the thefts.

“It is not really a conservation problem, people say DOC should be doing this but their core role is conservation … so I think it is a bit hard to ask them with their limited budget to be managing security,” he said.

Police are working with DOC to address the issue. 

Tahr cull over for 2020

DOC has completed its planned Himalayan tahr control operations for 2020.

“Between mid-July and early November, we aerially controlled 7481 tahr on public conservation land to protect alpine eco-systems from the impacts of high tahr densities,” Tahr programme lead, James Holborow said.

Maps showing where tahr were controlled as part of the Tahr Control Operational Plan for 2020/21 have been uploaded to the DOC website

“Hunters can head out on trips this summer on public conservation land throughout the feral range knowing DOC’s control work for the year is complete,” Holborrow said.

Seven safe after raft capsize scare

Seven rafters have been accounted for after a capsize on the Kawarau River on Saturday, Otago Daily Times reports.

Police said the incident happened about 3.30pm, and ambulance, police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Search and Rescue, the Otago and Queenstown rescue helicopters responded.

“But by 3.55pm, all seven people were out of the water and accounted for and none of them appeared to be injured,” police said.

“It all seemed to resolve itself perfectly fine, but it was a bit dramatic there for a time.”