Wilderness July 2021

Each issue of Wilderness takes its readers to the most beautiful areas in New Zealand, whether by foot, mountain bike, sea kayak, raft, pony or dream.

New Zealand
Lifestyle Publishing Ltd
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12 期号


the fruits of lockdown

IT’S BEEN MORE than a year since New Zealand went into lockdown, but it’s only now that some of the stories from those frantic weeks are surfacing as those who turned the anxiety, worry and boredom of several weeks cooped up in their homes into new projects, dreams and achievements. I’m sure many readers are bored to death with anything Covid-related and if you count yourself among that cohort, bear with me because the stories we’re sharing this month are very special. It’s only now that I’ve read them and seen them designed on the page that I realised there was an unofficial ‘fruits of lockdown’ theme to the issue and if it weren’t for this editorial, you may not have even realised it yourself. Despite New Zealand escaping relatively unscathed from…

letter of the month

CLOSED CELL FOAM MATS ARE THE BEST I still have my 10mm closed cell foam mattress from 40 years ago. It was the bees-knees when it came out, with all the attributes mentioned in the article (‘The multipurpose mattress’, June 2021), but I think the author undersells the insulating properties of CCF. I have slept in an ice cave, a snow trench, and permafrost ground without an issue of cold penetration on my CCF. I have a slightly heavier inflatable now for comfort, not warmth and it is 1/8th the volume. Will it be around in 40 years? I doubt it. I suspect the R-values may be a guide, good for comparing similar mats but they don’t truly reflect real-life outdoor sleeping where a bony hip can compress a comparable weight air inflatable…

your trips, your pix

Get your photo published here to receive a $30 Silva Pocket Thermo Compass for accurate wayfinding and temperature-sussing. Learn more about Silva at e.ampro.co.nz. Last Weekend submission criteria can be found at wildernessmag.co.nz…

coal-heating in huts to be ceased

DOC IS PHASING out the use of coal to heat huts by the end of the year as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The department’s heritage and visitors director Steve Taylor said there were still 32 visitor huts and 20 hut warden and backcountry staff buildings using coal as a fuel source. These would switch to burning wood. Taylor said this would significantly reduce carbon emissions from heating huts. “The burning of coal releases a great deal more carbon into the atmosphere than any alternative form of heating in huts,” Taylor said. “Our calculations show that total carbon emissions from using wood to heat huts and other DOC buildings would be approximately a quarter of those from using coal. This includes the cost of transporting the fuel to the hut.” He said…

new doc land created in mackenzie country

AROUND 18,000HA will be added to the conservation estate in the Mackenzie Country as part of tenure review agreements at two high country stations. The agreement will see 80 per cent of Godley Peaks station (11,800ha) become public land and 39 per cent (6308ha) of The Grampians pastoral lease (pictured). The land includes spectacular parts of the high country in and around the Southern Alps. From Godley Peak, the land will stretch about 33km alongside Lake Tekapo and up the Godley River to Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park, alongside the existing Godley Peaks Conservation Area. It is the second-largest addition to the conservation estate through tenure review in the Mackenzie Basin. The remaining 2676ha of the station will become freehold, with 376ha subject to a conservation covenant. LINZ’s summary of the proposal said it had…

doc director-general resigns

DOC DIRECTOR-GENERAL Lou Sanson will leave the role in September after eight years at the helm of the department. In a statement, Sanson said: “It’s time for me to get back into the nature I love and grew up in.” He said he plans to work in environmental and social governance and volunteer for the Predator Free 2050 movement and the Backcountry Trust, and maybe try his hand at hut-bagging. “I would love to catch Brian Dobbie’s amazing record of backcountry huts he has been to across New Zealand,” he said. (Good luck Lou, Brian looks pretty unbeatable – see p52.) Sanson started working in conservation in 1971, working as a track cutter in Copland Valley and then for the Forest Service. From 1987, he helped set up DOC as Invercargill’s first district conservator,…