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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 8 (February 1, 1933)

Trampers and Campers

Trampers and Campers.

This summer has seen more holiday-makers on the tramp for pleasure than ever before. Apart from those who take the longer train trips, there is the large body of young people, and others not so young, who use the railway to set them down at the nearest point to the jumping-off place, and then shoulder swag for the bush and the hills. There are not many parts of the North Island at any rate which are not penetrated at some time or other in vacation time by parties of vigorous young pikou bearers—with a considerable sprinkling of young women among them; for the girls are determined to benefit as much as the boys from the days of travel in the backblocks and over the ranges. This is all to the good; it means healthful and inexpensive pleasure in the open air, exercise which gives zest to life and new strength and energy for the tasks of the working year.

Only to the foot-slogger is known the complete joy of intimacy with the wilds, once the railway is left behind. The motorist speeding through regions of beauty can have, at his journey's end, only a somewhat vague and confused notion of the country he has traversed. He misses the peculiar spirit of the place, the secret charm of the hills and the forests that the tramper comes to know, because he has made himself one with the soil and the trees in his measured progress through the quiet places and his nightly camps on the breast of kindly Mother Earth.