We can confidently boast that the variety of things to do in New Zealand is much wider than virtually anywhere else in the world. No matter your interest – be it tramping, hunting, skiing, climbing, fishing, swimming, rafting, trail or mountain biking, bungy-jumping or whatever – there’s a myriad of opportunities and locations in which to indulge.

However, a good many of these activities carry a high degree of risk of mishaps such as personal injury, or – in some cases – of people becoming lost in inclement weather, or simply losing their way.

There are well-established rules for keeping safe while indulging in any outdoor pursuit, which are based on extensive experience, and they’re all are basically the same. Too often though, people get into trouble because they take unnecessary risks or they over-estimate their own abilities.

I frequently hear people say that they are going tramping or hunting or fishing as if it’s the same thing as going down to the local shops, and without taking even basic precautions.

In the case of New Zealanders, it’s often the old ‘she’ll be right’ attitude that can get us into trouble, while for visitors it’s very often a total lack of awareness of our outdoor conditions – especially the weather – and as a consequence, a lack of preparedness for any situation that may suddenly arise.

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