30 Dec 2009

Mountain Safety says gear checks can save lives

8:44 pm on 30 December 2009

The Mountain Safety Council says people who do not check essential equipment before heading into the mountains and bush run a higher risk of injury or even death.

The council's Chris Tews says trampers must carry out the simple task of ensuring boots, tents, stoves and other essential items are still up to the job.

He says people have died of hypothermia because their tent or wet weather gear had deteriorated in storage during the winter and wasn't checked or repaired before heading out again.

Mr Tews says faulty, unchecked stoves have exploded, seriously burning trampers.

The council is also telling trampers not to cross rivers, particularly when they are flooded, no matter how much of a short cut they provide.

It says river drownings is one of the leading causes of death in the outdoors.