Trampers are always interested in the gear and clothing of fellow travellers on the trail.
These have been modified greatly over the years. A new revolution in the Wanganui Tramping Club is in footwear, where sandals are on the march.
Ridgway Lythgoe was the pioneer and for years it was just him but lately more club members are finding that wearing designer tramping sandals, particularly in summer, is the way to go. On a recent Wednesday walk eight of the 24 trampers were sandal-wearers.
Critics wonder about ankle support but the sandal set say they haven't had any problems. Of course, they are not so good in mud, and winter conditions make them problematic. You can also be caught out, as have a couple of club members who have found walking in snow is not such a wonderful experience. One suffered slight frostbite and tingly toes for a couple of weeks after.
Four of the six trampers on a club trip over Fiordland's Dusky Track, sometimes referred to as New Zealand's hardest hike, wore sandals. For one member it was his first big trip in such footwear but like the others declared himself pleased with the outcome. He has joined the lightweight footwear fan club.
The club's weekend programme for June is: —
Sat-Mon 2-4, Eastern Tararua, leaders Dave and Shane
Sat or Sun 9 or 10, Palmerston North urban circuit, leader Margret
Sat-Sun 16-17, Roaring Stag Lodge, leader Shane
Sat or Sun 23 or 24, Deerfoot Track, leader Dave
Sat 30, Pot luck/games night, leaders Julie and Trevor
Sat or Sun 30 or 1 July, Paekakariki Escarpment, leaders Esther and Juliet
Make all enquiries about trips to Barbara phone 348 9149 or Dorothy phone 345 7039.
The midweekers have a full programme of interesting trips every Wednesday. Those who get out on Thursday are in two groups, with a longer walks on June 7 and 21 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on June 14 and 28. The Wednesday contact is Margret, phone 344 3899, and the Thursday contact is Val, phone 345 0456.
To join weekend trips call the leader by the previous Tuesday at the latest. Call by the night before for day trips. As some trips have limited numbers, leaders have the final say about who to take as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of everyone on their trips. For further information contact Barbara at 348 9149 or visit our website www.wanganuitrampingclub.net
The next club meeting at the Deerstalkers' Hall, Peat St, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 6 features the club's Annual General Meeting.