These boots are made for walking

22nd December 2021|2min

Our communications advisor Rebekah Wilson reflects on her recent tramping journey which reignited her love for the outdoors.

I was a little nervous tying up the laces of my new tramping boots recently. The frayed threads and gaping holes meant that my first pair of tramping boots my mum bought me when I was 14 years old needed to be put to the side for my next phase in my tramping journey. It has been a decade since I last wore them. Going from a Gold Duke of Edinburgh recipient to a 10-year hiatus of tramping, I felt I needed to up my game, so new boots were first on the list. 

It’s almost a blur the hard work and what we learnt along the way of planning our multi-day tramps during high school - the knowledge and skills I wish I had maintained over the years.  

Being the newest member of the NZ Mountain Safety Council, recently clocking in at one year, has reignited my passion for tramping. It’s almost a rite of passage here. So myself, and two other colleagues Ros and Marli, set off on an easy overnight tramp to Jans Hut in the Orongorongo Valley, Remutaka Forest Park. Feeling a little nervous I was put to ease when I remembered back to my last multi-day tramp in 2011, the Rees-Dart, and that I had carried four days of food and clothes during the peak of summer.

Rebekah on the Rees Dart tramp.

This local overnighter was a good excuse to use our new app, Plan My Walk. As much as I don’t want to admit it, after all those tramps for Duke of Ed, I felt I needed the app to ease me back into planning a tramp. Having been behind the scenes of the app for so long, it was interesting putting it into practice. Whipping a plan together with the girls just took a lunch break which included booking the hut, then saving a draft plan. We were organised and booked the hut months in advance, so it wasn’t until the week before the trip that we sat down again and checked the weather and track conditions and put together a menu too. We allocated specific group items to each person and wrote a note in the ‘trip notes’ section to check the river level before setting off as the Orongorongo River is notorious for flooding, but drops as quickly as it rises. 

Left: Ros and Marli in Jans Hut. Right: Rebekah and Ros location check on the map.

Many that know me will know I love a list, but I didn’t think I would appreciate the tick-able gearlist in Plan My Walk as much as I did. I customised it but adding items such as an inhaler and antihistamines which was very handy.  

Jans Hut is a gem nestled in the hills of the Remutaka Forest Park and was the perfect re-release back into tramping after a decade away. Plan My Walk helped us plan even the simplest of overnight tramps which reminded me that no matter the length or difficulty of the track, a solid plan with the easy-to-use gear list was necessary.  

What I learnt: 

  • Start looking early before you plan to go so you have something to look froward to, and to avoid disappointment if things book out. 
  • While we had a solid plan, we made sure we didn’t put pressure on going ourselves.  
  • Go with people who are at a similar level in experience and fitness so you’ll feel confident.