Nathania Hanna is a Practice Manager at Compliance Council
I’m a Kiwi – I grew up exploring the outdoors. I was lucky enough to live 90min from the Central Plateau and in a coastal town, surrounded by national parks and farmland, and wild west coast beaches. I love to be out there, enjoying the wilderness.
In recent years I have taken to hiking. I enjoy the nomadic experience of travelling with all that is required for trip, within the 65lt pack on my back. But successful hiking comes down to one thing, and that’s PREPARATION.
Packing for a trip is always a mindful and somewhat challenging task, weighing up (pun intended) the ‘must have’ (hydration pack, Personal Locator Beacon, wet weather gear) with the ‘luxuries’ (whisky, portable shower, real food, not freeze dried), when every gram counts. I always hike with friends and as all good team-mates, we share load of both the must-haves & luxuries. This means solid communication and co-ordination in the planning….. speaking from experience, assuming the toilet paper is packed does not confirm that in fact, it is!!.
There’s also the activities and factors of each hike that need to be considered to ensure a safe and pleasant trip. Much like a Business Plan, all the potential risks need to be assessed for likelihood and the consequences mitigated or reduced. Weather, available shelter, emergency situations and timeframes are all items for discussion. I’ve often ventured into remote places with no mobile coverage, whilst being disconnected for a few days is absolute bliss, it does place a vulnerability on access to emergency services if ever needed. For this reason, I always hike with a PLB, and note where there is mobile coverage… (a ridge or high point on the track is often enough to send a message)
The physical preparation of hiking is another important item to consider and I enjoy this just about as much as I enjoy the hike itself. Last year I set myself a goal of climbing a mountain and in preparing to “knock the bastard off” (as Sir Edmond Hilary said about conquering Mt Everest), I was doing day hikes every weekend for 6 weeks prior, and walking/hill climbing most days after work. On the 8th of February 2020, I summited the Mount Taranaki (2518m) my greatest outdoor achievement to date.
Most of all I enjoy the connection with nature. The return to a natural circadian rhythm and wakened senses. There’s a wonderful sense of presence when hiking. An awareness of surroundings; the sounds of the bush, the scent of the flora, the crispness of the cold morning air and the steady rhythm of the footsteps and heartbeats
Unfortunately due to the border closures I had to cancel a multi-day hike I had planned for in the South Island, but the pandemic has not stopped me venturing out into the Australian parks… my most recent hike was the 10km walk from Mount Ku-ring-gai to the Berowra station.
Nathania (R) at the Summit
Summit of Mt Taranaki (2518 m), looking down into the crater!
Ku-ring-gai to Berowra walk