Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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23 people showed up for a more traditional Club Night - not completely traditional in that it was at someoneís home instead of a church hall, and supper ranged from pizza to cake instead of biscuits only.

Our evening, at Paulís home in Meadowbank, began with Barbara introducing a birdsong quiz game. She handed out slips of paper, then played 2 native birdsongs from a tape - we were to put down what the birds were. She would continue this, two birds at a time, throughout the evening.
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Peter and Val O gave a demonstration on choosing and packing a pack. A pack-carrying tramperís pack should be no wider than the personís body - any protruding side pockets can impede progress in bush and be uncomfortable. The ideal weight to carry is one-quarter of the personís own weight, but that may not be practical with food for an extended trip such as a summer tramp.

Peter opened his pack, saying that a plastic pack liner is a must to keep clothing dry. Rain gear should be stored at the top above the packliner for easy access when the weather packs in. The other practical use for a pack liner is in a search-and-rescue situation when the bright yellow or orange of the liner stands out easily to be spotted by searchers.

He then mentioned what should go into the liner - polyester pullover in a plastic bag to ensure extra dryness, other polyprops (tops, pants) in another plastic bag, a head torch (keeps hands free), a threequarter length thermorest (self-inflating bedroll) - and of course his mouth organ!
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Two more birds from Barbara, then Paul handed out copies of a newspaper clipping about a recent tragedy in the Tararua Ranges where a dazed and injured woman was left alone to die in freezing 60km/h winds. Our exercise was to find the problems, mistakes and what could be done in such a situation. The conclusions we came up with were that it is important to watch weather situations and forecasts, stay together, take a mountain radio and/or emergency beacon, take suitable storm clothing and a bivvy bag, and seek shelter from wind and rain.
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After two more of Barbaraís birdies we moved to the garage where Grant and Cherry showed us how to pitch one of the Clubís new (and expensive) tents designed for pack-carrying expeditions in a wide range of weathers and temperatures. Once the tent was set up, they showed us how to improvise a stretcher using sticks (brooms were used in the demonstration) and swandris (bush shirts) for a person injured on the track. Bush shirts and other clothing can also make good splints to support broken bones. In such a situation, always use the patientís clothes, including those in his pack, for these, as the others may need to use all their own clothes themselves.
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A lavish pot-luck supper was served up to conclude a very informative and practical evening.
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