Questions on Kiwi backcountry language (or anything backcountry)

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      For those new to Kiwi backcountry hut life, or anyone wanting to know what something means in ‘kiwi tramping / backcountry language’, feel free to post a question. The answers, if posted, should be enlightening and may even be entertaining. We are all here to learn and it won’t go amiss to have a ‘beginner’s mind’ when heading to the hills.

      Why this Forum post?

      A question was posted as a comment to a trip report recently. The enquirer asked if a particular hut “slept 8 total (4 bunks) or sleep 4 in total”. I read it as a really good question, especially if it came from someone who has not stayed in any NZ backcountry huts. The answer? The 4 bunks sleep 4. But, why might it be a good question…

      As a kiwi kid we considered “bunks” meant sleeping for two i.e. top bunk and bottom bunk. Therefore, applying the thinking that “bunks” come in twos, one could think “four bunks” slept 8 (4×2). However, as the person who answered the question correctly states, in NZ backcountry language, a “bunk” means one bed i.e. a sleeping platform for one, so four bunks sleep 4.


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