News

BTAC - Volunteers Needed

Wilsons Prom - 21 to 25 April.  Read more... 

Extended Navigation Training

A day of practical navigation to enhance your skills. Read more ...

Grampians Peak Trail

Excitement in the Grampians is building, as construction on the northern and southern sections of the Peaks Trail gets underway.
Parks Victoria is working with hikers to plan the most scenic walks through the area. Watch this video

Deer Hunting on Snake Island

The Victorian Government announced recently that it would allow a trial to hunt hog deer on the island for a two year period. Bushwalking Victoria has a number of concerns reagrding this proposal. Read more ...
 
Replacement of Toilet Block - Ritchie's Hut
 
Parks Victoria are currently in the process of replacing the existing toilet at Ritchie's hut.

The works are scheduled between February and April 2017.

There may be no toilet available for use between this period as the old toilet will be decommissioned. Please ensure you walk at least 100 metres from the river or any water way, dig a hole and bury your waste and toilet paper very carefully.

If you have any queries, please contact Parks Victoria, Mansfield on 13 1963.

Member Discounts

Make the most of your membership discounts!

pdfDiscount List

WALKSAFE

Means using commonsense with >> 

Minor Mishaps

Blisters

New boots should be broken in and tested BEFORE you go bush. Know your feet.  Some walkers find blisters are best prevented by wearing two pairs of socks, others pre-tape areas of the foot that are sensitive to rubbing.  It is always worth the time to stop to take preventative action before a blister becomes a problem. There are several "artificial skin" preparations available to treat blisters.  If fluid in a blister needs to be released, use a needle sterilized in a flame and cover with antiseptic and a dressing.

Bites, stings and other annoying things

Leeches are an unpleasant nuisance rather than a danger.  They are generally only found in wet or damp forest areas.  In leech infested areas wear clothing to minimize exposed skin and wear gaiters or pull socks over trouser legs.  Inspect for freeloaders at rest stops.  Leeches can be readily removed with a little salt, or saltwater solution if easier to apply to areas such as the eye.  Profuse bleeding may occur but can be easily stopped and there may be irritation or itching a day or two later.

Ticks can be more of a problem, depending on the variety, but are not commonly found in the Victorian bush except in coastal regions and East Gippsland.  If walking in scrub in areas known to have ticks, inspect daily for these parasites.  Small larvae stage ticks can be killed using a paste of bicarb soda but it is not currently agreed that killing adult ticks with stove fuel or insect repellent is advisable.  Use fine, preferably curved tweezers or a piece of knotted thread as close as possible to the skin to ease out the tick.  Take care not to crush or squeeze the body during removal.  The source of toxins is removed once the body is removed.  The affected area may swell a little and itch for a day or so.

Repellents and anaesthetic creams are useful to minimize the impact of the irritation of bites or stings from ants, sandflies, march flies, mosquitoes, wasps or bees which may be encountered whilst walking in the bush.  Individuals who are allergic to particular insects should carry antihistamines or prescribed drugs for their treatment.

Strains and Sprains

A sprain occurs when a joint is forced beyond its normal movement.  The chance of a sprain can be reduced by wearing boots with good ankle support and stopping for sustenance or avoiding walking when tiredness increases clumsiness.  Adjustable walking poles are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst older walkers, to minimize the stress on knee joints particularly during steep descents.

A sprain can be very painful but is not as disabling as a fracture or dislocation.  If possible, cool and elevate the injured joint and apply a firm crepe bandage before continuing the walk after a rest.  Lighten the load of the injured party, fashion a stick for support and do not rush their progress.

A strain is caused by over-stretching a muscle or tendon and is indicated by pain and a loss of power in the injured area.  Treat as for a sprain.  A routine of stretching muscles prior to commencing exercise is recommended to help prevent strain.

Cramp

Cramp is a sudden and painful involuntary tightening of a muscle.  It is relieved by manually stretching the affected muscle, and then gently massaging the area, keeping it warm.  When bushwalking in hot weather, failure to replace body salts lost through perspiration can result in heat cramps, but are avoided by making sure that when you are drinking a lot of fluid that you maintain an equivalent increase in food intake.

Minor Burns

Cool the burn area immediately in cold water (wet cloth if not possible) and continue treatment for at least 10 minutes.  Do not apply cream or ointment.  Cover with a clean dry dressing.  Any blisters which form should not be deliberately broken.