4. Know your limits
Planning for self-sufficiency is a key part of risk management. Know the limits of yourself and your group.
Key risks to be prepared for on Te Araroa include falling, drowning in rivers and hypothermia. These can happen at any time of year.
To avoid falling, you need to maintain vigilance on the steep exposed ridgelines which are present throughout the journey - particularly in the mountainous trails of the South Island. Strong winds are not to be underestimated, as they have contributed to multiple serious falls. If the weather forecast is for strong winds, do not climb any exposed ridgelines. Stay where you are, or alter your route to stay low.
Rivers can also be extremely dangerous. Not all rivers on Te Araroa have bridges. You will need to learn how to assess whether a river is safe to cross, how to find the best crossing point and what techniques to use. Plan ahead for these crossings. We encourage you to cross all rivers with at least 3 people so you can employ the Mutual Support technique.
Hypothermia can be avoided by wearing appropriate and sufficient clothing and ensuring you have sufficient food and shelter. Find out more in the Take Sufficient Supplies section.