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The Kepler Track

New Zealand is a trampers dream. Walking enthusiasts from all over the world visit New Zealand each year to walk one of the ‘Great Walks’. These walks are maintained by the Department of Conservation and are some of the most popular walking tracks in the world. In this article we take you on a tour of the Kepler Track and give you some tips and tricks to make your visit the best it can be.


Fancy an adventure above the clouds then the Kepler track is the one for you.
Kepler track is located at Fiordland National Park, on the southwest of South Island and you will get to walk a variety of topographies on the track. From the gentle shores of Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau bordered by beech trees, to the starkly beautiful alpine tussock lands. The stunning views of the awe-inspiring Kepler Mountains will memories to last a lifetime.


Keeping yourself safe 

The Kepler Track surface is predominantly dirt, gravel or rock and rain can turn the track slippery so it is important for you to take the correct gear. Choosing the right outdoor clothing will help you to enjoy your adventure.


Check the weather conditions before you embark on your trip and visit the Department of Conservation website to make sure there are no special restrictions in place on the track. No matter what time of year packing suitable wet weather gear for NZ conditions and cargo pants is a must because conditions on the track can change very quickly. Your list of personal equipment could include: 

> A backpack of 60 liters
> Waterproof sleeping bag
> Survival kit, including survival blanket, personal medication, whistle, high energy snack food, first aid kit, paper and pencil.
> Safety equipment like map and compass
> Drink bottle of 2 liter capacity
> Cooking and eating utensils like a knife, spoon, cup, billy, tea towel, and cleaning kit.
> Lighters or matches in waterproof boxes
> Spare batteries and flashlight or torch
> Toiletries
> Rubbish bag



Clothing

If you are walking the track over multiple days, you will require at least one set of wet weather gear for rainy conditions and a bucket hat to protect you from the sun. Hiking boots are a must as well as the other items of clothing listed below.

> Socks and cargo pants
> Shirts and under layers made of polypropylene or wool
> Middle layer made of polar fleece or wool
> Waterproof wet weather and safety clothes 
> Warm gloves and extra socks


Hazards

It is advisable to explore the track with a friend or in a group but if you are walking the track alone make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Then someone can raise the alarm if you are not back at the expected time.


The Kepler Track is marked however you must stop if you get lost. Find the nearest shelter and remain calm. Wearing extra clothing will help keep you protected while you wait for assistance. There is a risk of hypothermia as the track can be cold, windy and wet. Remember that you can go unconscious within 30 minutes once your core temperature drops so it helps to wear weatherproof and warm gear at all times during the walk.


If you believe that either you or one of the members of your group, are suffering from hypothermia then find or make shelter immediately. Get into warm dry clothing and have a sweet, warm drink if possible. 


Seek immediate help

Warm temperatures are the main cause of heat exhaustion, as well as not drinking enough water, so make sure you have enough water with you on the walk and have protection from the sun such as a bucket hat.


Early signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, vomiting or nausea, weakness, sweating or loss of appetite. If you see anyone suffering in the heat, give them water and help that person to a cool resting place.

There are also possibilities of avalanches and strong winds in the late August to early November period. The danger is increased after rain and snow fall. Exercise extra caution if you are walking the Kepler track at this time of year.


For the best adventures, you need the best outdoor gear. The best place to find it is at Westland Workgear. Visit the website at www.westlandworkgear.co.nz to view the best range of New Zealand made outdoor safety clothes in Auckland and Wellington. Their wet weather gear, bucket hats and cargo pants will keep you comfortable and safe throughout your journey.


Contact our friendly team to make a booking!

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