Today’s guest post is by Shawn Michaels
My trip to New Zealand was without a doubt one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences of my life. It was the summation of one of my deepest dreams, and at the end of it I was a changed man. However, I learned five things along the way, five things that everyone should know before they go hiking in New Zealand.
5 things to know before hiking in New Zealand
The Proper Term
The first thing you need to understand is that hiking is not called hiking at all in New Zealand, it’s called tramping! This caused my wife and I quite a bit of confusion when we first got there, because everyone seemed to be talking about this big “tramping” expedition that was about to go down and kept asking us if we were going to participate.
Planning is Key
The second thing that everyone should know is that they need to plan ahead if they want to take part in the Great Walk that New Zealand is so famous for. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t really need to put all that much effort into securing a place in the Great Walk, but the fact of the matter is that these walks are usually very packed and securing your place is going to be pivotal to your overall experience. We ended up missing out on the first Great Walk because we had not planned ahead, but luckily there was another one scheduled for a week later so we ended up getting our hiking experience after all. Also, you should get some snake proof boots because you don’t want to get bitten on your hike!
Prepare for the Weather
Another thing that you must keep in mind is the fact that New Zealand’s weather can be pretty unpredictable. Hence, you should pack clothing and other accessories that would enable you to keep pushing forward even if the weather does end up surprising you!
Pack the Right Food
You are going to be exerting yourself quite a bit so making sure that you have the right kind of food is an important part of hiking in New Zealand. Make sure that you have food that is high in carbs and protein, as this would help you keep your energy up during your hike. Eat as much bread as possible, but also try to keep sugar to a minimum. Sugar can cause you to get a bump in energy but then suddenly get really tired. I’d recommend avoiding it, if possible. My wife and I packed a lot of fruits as well to stay charged. Bananas in particular were very useful, indeed!
I saw a lot of people on the hike getting tired out because they were going too hard at it. Remember, this is not a race! You are there to have fun, so just relax and take it easy, there’s no need to exhaust yourself.
Author: Shawn Michaels is a blogger who loves to write about his outdoor experiences. He is also a passionate rock climber and loves traveling. Shawn is currently studying and spends his free time reading reviews and gear shopping! Visit his blog at TheSmartlad.com.