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Topic Date User
Hangdog Camp - Paynes Ford,NZ - Possible closure? 6-May-2010 At 11:05:52 AM cragrat
Letter part 1

To: Tasman District Council (address on website)


RE: Hangdog Campground for Climbers, Takaka

Dear Madam/Sir

It has come to my attention that the campground of Hangdog, near Takaka, is being closed due to maintenance, or more specifically, because of non-compliance with council campground regulations. Apparently, requirements include hot water and a washing machine, neither of which are currently being provided.

On several occasions, I have stayed at the Hangdog myself, as this campground is close to the well-known climbing crags at Paynes Ford. I have very much enjoyed the camp, and have found its guests to be courteous and environmentally aware. At no point in time did myself or any of my climbing friends express the need for more advanced facilities. Most of Hangdog’s clientele are climbers who are set up for camping in a tent or out of a vehicle, which includes cooking facilities. Hot water is therefore not an issue. For those not set up for camping, the existing bunkhouse provides beds, cooking facilities, hot water, and a shower. Most guests visit the township of Takaka on a regular basis to do their grocery shopping and to check emails, which is when they do their washing at one of the various laundry services provided. This also brings more business into town centre.

I personally feel that for Hangdog’s clientele, who are climbers from New Zealand and all over the world, more advanced facilities are neither wanted nor needed. We are used to simple life close to nature. We strive to live in harmony with our surroundings and aim to leave places as we found them. In the case of an organised campground, potable water and toilet facilities are sufficient to keep it sanitary. Dishwashing sinks, fridges and a hot shower (which are all currently provided at Hangdog) are excellent and a bonus. As climbers, a lot of us have vast outdoors experience, which includes the concept of minimal environmental footprint, and living healthily with few of modern life’s luxuries. We are responsible for our own cleanliness. It could even be argued that with communal cooking and washing areas, fewer facilities are in fact more sanitary, as everyone will be self-contained, so there is less potential for spreading germs. Climbers and outdoors people are very self-reliant - we simply do not require the daily use of freely available hot water or washing machines to live healthily, or to be happy.

What is more, having these additional facilities is not desirable for us as they tend to increase the cost of running a camp, and therefore the cost to us, its patrons. We are used to travelling on budget with minimal facilities and expenditure. For climbers in particular, it is important to be able to stay for some length of time (and therefore, at affordable rates), in order to progress in our climbing aspirations and achievements. Expertise takes time. A basic and affordable campground with a friendly, supportive and environmentally responsible culture, such as the Hangdog, perfect fits our needs.

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