Survival skills

See what happens when you have cabinet ministers with gay utes

People are soft these days, but to be expected when you have cabinet ministers who drive gay utes:


The great Kiwi camping holiday seems to be dropping out of favour, with few people willing to rough it in the wild without some modern comforts.

Almost six out of 10 people told a Herald-DigiPoll summer survey that they wanted some comfort when camping – and nearly 15 per cent admitted they would like as many modern conveniences as possible.

Less than a quarter said they like to rough it.

The Holiday Parks Association says the changing demands of Kiwi campers are forcing many holiday parks to reduce tent sites and build more cabins and chalets with modern conveniences.

Chief executive Fergus Brown said it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as it meant camping was appealing to a wider group of Kiwis.

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I prefer invisibility

I have been hunting for years. I reject the nonsense about wearing bright clothing, except when I am hunting for upland game.

Generally in the bush I prefer invisibility than visibility. If I come across or detect other hunters then I generally hunker down and stay immobile in my camouflage, preferring invisibility rather than risking movement and attracting attention with bright colours.

The exception to this is when I am hunting for upland game like pheasants and quail. Unlike ducks these birds are in the thick and the dogs flush them out. There is no need to camouflage and due to the location being closer to people and in areas frequented by lots of other recreational users then visibility is best.

Now there is evidence that bright colours are actually counter-productive in low light conditions…anyone who has hunted at dawn or dusk knows this…colours appear as shades of gray…and so camouflage is actually safer for you…rather than large blocks of a single colour moving through the bush.

Hunters have been misled into thinking bright-coloured clothing is safe in the bush because of a badly worded question in the firearms licence test, a former instructor says.

Former Mountain Safety Council firearms instructor Mitchell Maxberry says bright clothing cannot be seen in dim light, and he is backed up by a vision expert.

Mr Maxberry was so concerned he emailed the Mountain Safety Council and the police seven years ago about a question in the firearms test which said: “To reduce the risk of being shot accidentally while hunting, especially in dim light conditions, it is advisable to …”

The correct answer from the multichoice list was to wear brightly coloured gear.

“You do not see colours in dim light,” Mr Maxberry said yesterday.

In response to that email, police licensing and vetting manager Inspector Joe Green said: “Maybe [the test] does need review in light of more recent research.”

That said, I now tend to hunt on private blocks now, rather than open access areas. With the general decline in bush skills nationwide there is much that needs to be done to improve real safety rather than silly measure like requiring bright clothing.