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May 2019 Issue
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Pigeon Post, May 2019

Our reader of the month receives a pair of Keen Gypsum II Mid WP boots worth $300 from

Letter of the month

Weed control website needed

The story about the hut bagging website got me thinking about doing something similar for noxious weeds and wilding pines.

I admit I have a bit of a thing about weeds in our beautiful backyard. I really don’t like them. Being a tramper for over 50 years has meant personal observation of the results of weed infestation and it’s not pretty.

Recently, while on a mission to enjoy the easy tops access of Hanmer’s Jacks Pass and to knock off a few conifers while I was enjoying the exercise and view, my mind wandered to getting more people actively involved in weed control.

There are now all sorts of websites where the word can be spread and progress noted. For example, there are websites for hut bagging and geocaching. Perhaps a site along these lines could be used to encourage people to saw a pine or two when passing by.

The issue then turns from ‘Oh, but there are so many how can we make a difference’, to ‘Wow, our total is up to 89 and we can see that others are doing the same’.

How about it folks?

– Robyn Scott, email

– Robyn receives a pair of Keen Gypsum II Mid WP boots worth $300 from Readers, send your letter to for a chance to win.

Avoid blisters, wear your spare tyre

Further to the article ‘Friction affliction’ in which suggestions were made for the treatment and prevention of blisters, while guiding on the Milford Track in the late 1950s, I discovered that blisters were devastating for many trampers.

For many, the Milford Track was their ‘Everest’. But many wore new boots, borrowed boots, or hired them, resulting in terrible blisters.

I remember one poor lady having to return from Pamplona to Glade House on the back of our pack horse Gypsy.

I soon worked out that prevention is better than a cure. The best advice, especially for those new to tramping, is to carry a ‘spare tyre’ – that is, ensure your other

pair of footwear (who doesn’t carry another pair?) can, if necessary, be walked in. Ideally sneakers or running shoes.

I remember blistered folk resorting to wearing jandals, Crocs in later years and on one occasion bare feet. As soon as it’s obvious it’s starting to rub, change. Don’t wait for the blister.

Several times over the years, I loaned my spare tyre to clients when a blister was imminent.

But if you do get a blister, follow the advice in the article.

– Ray Willett, Te Anau

Daylight saved or lost?

The article ‘How to orient your map’, states the sun ‘is due north at 12 noon during daylight saving (October to April)’.

Surely the sun is due north at 12 noon during normal standard time (May to September) and at 1pm during daylight saving time.

During daylight saving time, the clock is moved forward so that when it is actually 12 noon by the position of the sun and Earth, the clock is artificially set to 1pm.

Similarly, when it is actually getting dark at around 8pm, the clocks are set to 9pm so you have ‘saved daylight’ as it seems to be light later in the evening.

– Derek Barrett, Whanganui

– Thanks Derek, we have corrected the article. – AH

It’s Scroggin, not trail mix

In the article Fine-tuning your fuel, the author uses the term ‘trail mix’. That is an American term for Scroggin. Yet I did not see Scroggin mentioned anywhere.

Ask any Scout, Guide or outdoor instructor, or thousands of New Zealanders who work or live in the bush: Scroggin is a mix of nuts, raisins and chocolate, and while other ingredients have crept in over the years, Scroggin it remains.

It is what we teach NZ kids as a Kiwiana icon.

While we are a multicultural nation, we still have our own developed uniqueness and Scroggin is one of them.

– Brett Smith, Waikouaiti