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“It’s important to recognise that the perceived risk of a day walk can be very low, where the potential risk can be surprisingly high.”
NZ Mountain Safety Council
The most vulnerable group are not those who regularly tramp for days in the bush or the mountains, it is the day trampers” who are more likely to take their camera rather than the required food, water, medicines, emergency kit, warm clothing, and shelter.
It doesn’t take a big injury to slow you or your group down considerably and losing a trail can happen to anyone. When Marty Richards got lost and feared for his life, it took 20 police hours, 90 volunteer hours and 2 helicopters to find him.
Remember also that a child may not be able to contain their curiosity and move away from the group and also end up lost or, as happened in one case, a child had an allergic reaction to a bee sting – there are a number of things that can go wrong.
Rain can also be a contributing factor for the “unprepared” – you would be surprised how quickly weather conditions can change and hypothermia can set in.
I went on a day walk, with friends to the Rimutaka Incline. The four of us agreed that each couple would start at opposite ends of the walk, reach the top, swap car keys and then meet up at a designated place. Halfway through our walk it started to rain heavily. It didn’t impact us, as we had both thermals and good waterproof jackets. Our friends however had opted for light clothing, it being a fine day when we started out, and no thermals. By the time we all reached the summit they were both chilled to the bone. We had packed extra clothing so were able to provide hats, gloves and scarves. This enabled them to finish the track and we all duly met up – our friends by then a little more educated on what to take for any future day walks.
Even a regular tramper can have survival issues. A Golden Bay tramper had 30 hours without food, water or shelter when his backpack burst open and scattered his belongings after he fell 30-metres.
“Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.”
NZ Mountain Safety Council provides an “Outdoor Safety Code” which also has a great video titled “Learn how to pack for any day walk”.
To ensure your day walk is a pleasant one, prepare for the worst.
Survive-it offers a wide range of emergency food that can be taken on your day tramp
If you do get lost and end up spending an unexpected night out, the temperature can drop dramatically and it is often also damp, so you need to plan accordingly.
Survive-it can offer emergency foil blankets, emergency sleeping bags, survival reflective tents, all of which can easily be packed for your day tramp. View our full range of shelter and survival gear.
Be a “Prepared” Day Tramper
We have developed a new range of grab and go backpacks in
consultation with several large customers. These grab and go options involve
vacuum packing the contents in a triple-sealed, thin insert. There will be a
slit in the outer seal, so that in the event of an emergency the insert can be
We can customise and create contents for the vac-packed
inserts based on your requirements or budget restrictions. We have several
options for storage packs: a drawstring bag, folding backpack, or our standards
We use high-quality, durable vacuum bags that will last.
The contents have a four-year shelf life – potentially up to
five years – before anything needs replacing.
With the move to hot desking as a common practice in offices,
it might help to store the kits in a high-visibility orange cabinet such as our
civil defence cabinets.
These have shelving that can accommodate packs or store any emergency food and
water you have for the site.
If you run a vehicle fleet, we can create and customise a
vacuum-sealed emergency kit for your vehicles, and ensure the kits are kept
intact and complete. If a kit has been used, we can supply any missing items
and reseal the pack to ensure your team is catered for in the event of an
How do vacuum packed
disaster survival kits help?
- Reduces pilfering. Torches and whistles are the
items that most often go missing from emergency backpacks and cabinets. There
is less chance of this happening if someone has to rip open a vacuum pack.
- Storage requirements reduced as vac packs take up
a lot less room. The vac packs can also fit inside existing storage such as
- Easy to use. It’s easy for each staff member to grab
their vac pack in the event of an emergency.
- Easy to keep updated. Vac packs have 4 to 5-year
lifespan. When that time comes around, items can be replaced, and the bag resealed.
- Bespoke vac packs. We can vac pack any type kit
for vehicle, home, office, etc.
- Makes emergency packs more useful. When all
emergency items are in a vac pack, things like spare clothing and shoes can be stored so they
don’t get caught up with the emergency supplies.
- Airline emergency packs can be vacuum packed, so
they meet new airline safety criteria.
- Easy storage of emergency packs not assigned
to a specific staff member – particularly useful in hot-desking office
Vac pack emergency
The vac pack survival kit pictured is an example of
what we can supply. It contains:
- Mini first aid kit
- Mainstay 1-day food ration
- Light sticks
- LED mini torch with batteries
- Moulded face mask
- High decibel whistle
- Emergency foil blanket
- Adult poncho
- 3 x 125ml Mainstay water sachets
- Aquatab water purification tablets.
We can supply a drawstring bag or backpack to carry the
We stock vacuum packed survival bags in a variety of
configurations: with or without water, food, gloves, and first aid.
Check out more of
our vac pack grab n go bags.
Contact us for
a customised vac pack solution to meet your survival kit needs and requirements.
In the event of a major disaster, roads will be cut
off, mass transit will shut down, and it’s likely that power and the main water
supply to your workplace will be compromised. Your building’s header tanks will
probably have shifted and they will be empty. You and your colleagues could be
isolated for several days, requiring you to be self-sufficient. During this
time, the emergency water supply you have will likely be the only safe water
emergency water do I need?
NZ Civil Defence recommendations have always been
to store a minimum of three litres of water, per person, per day, for at least
three days. In simple terms, this
equates to storing a minimum of 9 litres of water per person in your workplace
This is a recommended minimum as your
emergency water may be used for a variety of other uses in an emergency, such
as cleaning wounds and rinsing dust from eyes. So, aim for 10 litres of stored
water per person to be on the safe side. Remember to account for potential
visitors to your workplace when calculating your needs.
Solutions for storing water
An excellent solution for your home is to install a
large outdoor water tank that captures rain water. Or, store bottled water from
the supermarket if you have only yourself to worry about – it’s an easy solution
for your home, or a small office.
Defence provides guidance on preparing your own containers of water:
If you want emergency water at your workplace,
guaranteed to be fresh when you need it, here’s what works best:
- Water stored
in BPA-free plastic containers
- Water stored
in dark containers (or out of direct sunlight)
maintained every six months.
managed and unmanaged water storage solutions for workplaces. The
difference between managed and unmanaged is simple – if you want to guarantee
that you have safe, drinkable water, you probably need a managed water
solution. This involves hiring a specialist to install, secure, refill, and
treat your precious emergency water supply. A variety of containers and barrels
are available for water storage.
Why maintaining your own emergency water isn’t a
If you have
a system whereby people in your office change the water containers regularly,
then an unmanaged water storage solution might work for you. The problem is
that everyone will need water after a disaster but no one wants to maintain it!
Self-managed water solutions usually start with the best of intentions, but
often are forgotten about or ignored because emptying and refilling water
containers is time-consuming and tedious.
Should we use specialised storage containers?
It’s crucial that your containers be “food grade” and not used for any other
purpose prior to storing water. This ensures that no residues from previous use
will impact on the taste and health of your water. A container of “food grade”
quality will ensure that no harmful chemicals will leach into the water from
the plastic. The best containers are BPA-free and manufactured from
Is it better to treat water during storage rather
than at the point of use?
straight from the tap in New Zealand is generally very clean. But store that
water at room temperature over a long period and it can become a breeding
ground for a variety of potentially nasty bugs. At the very least it may taste
really unpleasant from having sat around for too long. In a crisis, you’ll have
enough to worry about without the added problem of having to treat your water
before you can drink it. We recommend
changing the water every six months, and lightly treating the water at the time
of each refilling, to keep it fresh and bug-free.
For peace of mind, get in touch with us today to talk about managing emergency water storage at your
Scientists finally have proof that central New Zealand could be ticking down to a highly damaging “megathrust” earthquake.
Earlier research has suggested the seabed between the Wairarapa and Marlborough is capable of generating magnitude 7-plus quakes.
Now researchers have found solid geological evidence that an area off the coast of Wairarapa and fringing Cook Strait causes “megathrust” quakes and tsunami similar to, but probably smaller than, the devastating magnitude 9.0 March 2011 event in Japan.
The study area was salt marsh flats on the edge of Big Lagoon near Blenheim
The work, out Tuesday morning, highlights the active threat the southern Hikurangi margin – where the Pacific Plate is being dragged down below the Australian Plate – poses to life and livelihood from Hawke’s Bay south to the Wairarapa, Wellington and Marlborough.
The Alpine Fault, which extends further south from that plate boundary, is also a hazardous feature that will generate a magnitude 8 quake when it ruptures, possibly some time in the next 50 to 100 years.
To look for evidence of past earthquakes on the margin, the researchers performed a painstaking examination of the geologic layers contained within a salt marsh at Big Lagoon in the southeastern Wairau River valley on South Island.
The scientists, from GNS Science, the University of Texas and Geomarine Research, have calculated that in the past 1000 years two subduction quakes of at least magnitude 7 occurred – one between about 880 to 800 years ago and the other between 520 and 470 years ago.
“This is the first evidence that the southern Hikurangi margin ruptures in large (7-7.9) to great (8+) earthquakes, and the relatively short time interval between the two events has significant implications for seismic hazard in New Zealand,” they said in Tuesday’s Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
A map showing the area when the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates collide. Researchers warn a ‘megaquake’ of magnitude 8 or more could occur in this area.
They cited an earlier paper that said for a magnitude 8.9 Hikurangi subduction quake, losses in the Wellington region alone were estimated to be about $13 billion, with about 3550 deaths and 7000 injuries.
Their findings would allow better modelling of the impacts and help communities prepare to cope with such an event, they said.
The Hikurangi margin, which runs from east of East Cape to offshore of the Marlborough coast, is one of the few subduction zones around the Pacific that has not generated a “great”, above magnitude 8, quake in historic times.
Kate Clark, GNS Science
Jamie Howarth, William Ries and Delia Strong, of GNS Science, using a piston corer to recover sediment cores from salt marsh at Big Lagoon, Blenheim, to determine the dates of the last megathrust earthquake off the Wairarapa coast.
Data shows that in the southern Hikurangi margin the Australian and Pacific plates are locked and accumulating strain where they meet, about 25km beneath Wellington and Blenheim.
Previous research suggests this locked patch between Cook Strait and Cape Turnagain could generate a quake of between 8.5 and 8.7 magnitude.
In their search for subduction-quake evidence, the researchers used a salt marsh on the edge of Big Lagoon near Blenheim to recover sediment that could be aged by radiocarbon dating.
They collected 48 sediment cores, from 0.5m to 2.2m deep. Analysis and dating of the buried soils in the cores showed there had been two occasions of sudden subsidence of the lagoon in the past 1000 years, indicative of two large quakes.
The older event was accompanied by a tsunami at least 3.3m high that swept more than 360m inland.
There was no evidence of a tsunami hitting Big Lagoon in the more recent quake, although there were tsunami deposits around Cook Strait, at Abel Tasman and on Kapiti Island about the same time as that event, researchers said.
Lead researcher Dr Kate Clark, of GNS Science, said the findings did not greatly change the actual level of risk to people in central New Zealand.
The National Seismic Hazard Model used a recurrence interval of 550 to 1000 years for a magnitude 8.1-8.4 quake but the researchers had found an actual interval of about 350 years between the two quakes.
While that was different, it was not an irreconcilable difference, given the average was only based on two events.