Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Leaving only footprints

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  • George Darroch, in reply to st ephen,

    tramping was never popular in NZ beyond a tiny white, middle-class minority

    It was popular, with people of all classes, and to the extent that it was white and Maori, it was because NZ was overwhelmingly white and Maori. It's now more middle class than it used to be, certainly.

    It's also less popular than it used to be, except among high school teachers (my science-teaching brother and mum are walking around Karamea as I type).

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    I met a blind bloke in Timaru who was very excited to hear about tandem recumbent trikes, as his wife found the upright bike version quite hard to deal with (him being the bigger, heavier member of the team). They put me up for the night after chatting me up me at the library, and we shared experiences of disabled people and outdoor adventures. He was amused at the idea of carrying a wheelchair up mountains, but much more excited about getting a recumbent trike to play with. Despite knowing of a local manufacturer he'd never clicked to the idea that because he couldn't fall off that meant he could ride even a solo trike, he just needed someone to scream "stop!" at him before he hit something. But obviously a tandem would be better because he could have a sighted driver.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to st ephen,

    since tramping was never popular in NZ beyond a tiny white, middle-class minority and is even less popular with moneyed tourists

    It does depend what you mean by tramping in making that observation. Going hunting and fishing in the bush is extremely popular well beyond the minority you refer to, particularly for rural people. It is, after all, really cheap entertainment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to st ephen,

    the whole sub-culture with its etiquette and taxpayer-funded playground are pretty much doomed

    Yeah, nah back at you. A lot of volunteer effort goes into preserving some of the more remote backcountry huts.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    What could possibly go wrong with putting a blind person in charge of the fastest self-powered vehicle ever invented?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Moz,

    I have a great deal of experience with shitting in the woods (a poo shovel is necessary),

    These are standard kit for backcountry camping or tramping in North America. Either dig and bury, or pack it out with you.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    You stealth camp in Ozzie? You're game.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Moz,

    (unfortunately necessary now that the rivers of shit are so often unsafe for that type of contact between body and water).

    and this is yet another 'fact' that the tourists have learned about NZ...our rivers are not safe to swim in. On the other hand, there is a river that runs into a tidal lagoon at one camp that is pristine...courtesy of no farming activity in that area. The tourists eschew this source of recreation and bodily refreshment and dive into the ocean...deciding that the vicious tidal currents are much safer than the river.

    and also sponge bathing

    Tell folk it's possible to happily go for a week on a twice daily sponge bath and they'll be calling the authorities! (We often make 200 litres of water do a week or more)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1332 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to st ephen,

    Attachment

    This is considered (fell-) walking in the UK (Striding Edge, in the Lake District).

    I believe it only becomes climbing or mountaineering when you start using tools (rope, ice-axe, crampons).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Nah, fastest HPV is a bike, and not one that's easy for even a sighted person to ride. But the glee you see from blind people when they get to drive a trike is hard to overstate. Especially for someone who just has impossibly foggy vision, the ability to go screaming round a carpark under their own steam and in control of the vehicle is a huge win.

    And free camping in Oz is pretty much the way everyone does it, because in the outback there's no reason not to or way to stop people who want to. There really is an awful lot of out there, out there. In the more inhabited areas they have rest stops with tank water and pit (or tank) toilets, and there are more of those every year on the heavily trafficked areas. I was somewhat surprised that out round Uluru there are tanks everywhere and it's possible to cycle tour with only a few litres of carrying capacity (insane, but possible).

    Stealth camping in the peopled-up coastal zones is easy if you have the skiills and gear. It looks a bit like this

    http://moz.geek.nz/mozbike/ride/nz-2005/01-21-cromwell/nztour-cromwell-02-moz_.jpg

    (no idea how to embed the image, sorry)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I believe it only becomes climbing or mountaineering when you start using tools (rope, ice-axe, crampons).

    To me the division between tramping and mountaineering is about risk, and it occurs once a line’s been crossed where the risk changes markedly. That extra risk, whilst low if you have the skills, can’t always be completely managed away without accepting that it’s there. It often correlates with avalanches, but also venturing to places where you really can’t afford to make a mistake.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Another interesting thing about the Swiss photo I posted is that most of the land up there is privately (or communally) owned farmland used for summer grazing and as a ski resort in winter. The farmers accept that there is public access over the land (I believe the lift company pays for the land its lifts are on but not the runs down). It's very different from the post-colonial attitude that "this land is mine and nobody else can go on it".

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Incidentally if anyone’s trying to figure out where it’s legal to go, the Walking Access Mapping System is awesome.

    It’s the first big accomplishment of the Walking Access Commmission that was created in 2008 to help promote and liaise for improved public walking access. After some initial research they figured out that one of the biggest frustrations people were having at that time was being able to figure out where it was actually legal to go. The WAMS collates together information from LINZ and a million different local authorities.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond, in reply to izogi,

    Mangahao valley (Tararuas) this time, and Mukamuka stream (Rimutakas) earlier in the year.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Attachment Attachment

    privately (or communally) owned farmland used for summer grazing

    I’ll have to say that it is very weird seeing cattle roaming around alpine environments. This (Pralognan-la-Vanoise) is a national park in France.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, I've been fell walking (and scrambling) in the UK. And done some pub-to-pub walking. It's fantastic. But my view is that "tramping" is a particular word used in NZ to describe a particular recreational activity that is psychologically and physically different - if only because the environment, facilities and population density are different. Walking the Tongariro Crossing with a line of literally hundreds of people stretching into the distance feels much more like fell walking than tramping. Hunting and fishing also seem like quite different activities compared with the idea of tramping described in the Te Ara article (once you get past the use of 'trampers' to refer to people travelling for trade, food-gathering and warfare).

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 253 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to st ephen,

    Walking the Tongariro Crossing with a line of literally hundreds of people stretching into the distance

    I've done that. I've seen Lambton Quay with fewer people on it. It wasn't so much the numbers that bugged me (I've done a lot of busy Great Walks), it was the clueless gear. Skirts and cowboy hats. Shoulder bags. Open toed sandals on a scree slope. That's not tramping.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 975 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to B Jones,

    It’s also not especially safe in the scheme of things. Not so long ago there was nearly a major tragedy, which arguably was a fortuitous outcome for something that’s been on the edge of happening for a long time.

    The Dominion Post and some others blamed an operator who dropped off the group, but I think that’s a fairly shallow analysis.

    The National Parks Act, as is, doesn’t really account for the possibility that a particular place might become extrodinarily popular with people who aren’t well equipped to understand the risks. DOC's trying to mitigate the risk by coordinating how commercial operators act, but there's only so much that can be done when it's so easy for people to arrange their own transport.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    Nah, fastest HPV is a bike

    A recumbent bike. I don't really count anything with a pacer vehicle or going downhill as truly self powered. But you're saying it wasn't a tricycle, specifically, right? I don't think that's going to make it any slower - just less safe :)

    It looks a bit like this

    Indeed. I think I'd be a bit chicken for it, particularly in Oz, where they do actually have serial killers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I’m not sure of the details but at the time “freedom walking” was a protest against the track being closed to ordinary trampers (of course this was 20 years before the National Parks act was signed). Now days it just means going without a guide.

    Maybe it's been used this way for some time but I didn't really hear the "freedom walking" term until relatively recently, when "freedom camping" became a popular conversation shortly before the Freedom Camping Act came in.

    I can't stand the term in its modern usage. It normalises commercial guided walks, as if doing it yourself is somehow eccentric and unconventional. I guess that's exactly how the much of the tourism industry wants to frame it. Maybe it's just linguistic evolution, though. :)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    It was called freedom walking nearly 25 years ago when I walked the Milford Track and stayed in the DoC huts. Coldest and wettest I have ever been. Flaked potatoes for dinner. Sandfly bites and wet wool and playing cards with strangers. That's tramping.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 975 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to B Jones,

    Top and tailing, wood smoke, and stranger farts and snores...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In fairness Russell, after a week in the classroom the absolute silence of a trail and the certain absence of children makes tramping one of my absolute favourite 'not a teacher' thing to do.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to izogi,

    Something I've noticed in NZ is the very high standard of waymarking and path improvements - having markers every few metres, nice wooden steps, etc.

    This obviously makes the route more accessible (and it's needed to control erosion in some places), but does it encourage people to go walking in jandals and t-shirts? If the routes were less well marked, you'd need to think about what you were up to and carry a map and compass, right?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    A recumbent bike. I don't really count anything with a pacer vehicle or going downhill as truly self powered. But you're saying it wasn't a tricycle, specifically, right?

    Now you're making things complicated. The International Human Powered Vehicle Association have a list of speed records that they certify but you'll note that a lot of them take place at Battle Mountain, which has enough slope to give the faster riders about 200W of gravity assistance (compared to 500-700W of rider input). If we restrict records to level courses we need to do a lot more research and probably use a list of country-by-county local speed records.

    That list also has the trike speed records, currently 117.38kph for a trike vs 139.45kph for a bike. The TriSled trike people are in Melbourne and I know both Ben and Gareth (and own a few of their more conventional bikes). The trike is tiny, it's almost painted onto the rider, who sits scrunched up in an incredibly uncomfortable position (to reduce frontal area and thus air resistance).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1142 posts Report Reply

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