Here are 20 ideas of bushwalking related things you can do during self-isolation:

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So your journey isn't necessary, your favourite national park is closed due to recent bushfires or the COVID-19 restrictions and you can't gather with more than one other person ...

  1. Start planning future trips:
  1. Equipment:
  • Drag out all your bushwalking gear ... yes, all of it!
  • Are you storing gear that has not been used this century?
  • What reliable old familiars are fast approaching their use-by date and need replacing?
  • Do you have some heavy hardware that you could never part with, but which reality dictates, should be replaced by a lighter, smaller (and possibly more robust) space-age derivative?
  • At the risk of destroying souvenir dirt deposits, give everything a thorough clean.
  • Although not as exhilarating as a trackside repair, give some thought to a little R&M. 
  1. Review your habitual packing routines. Think about how you might save some weight – yours or the pack’s. Here is a guide of what and how to pack
  1. Stay in shape and maintain your fitness from home. Here is a good guide (From in the USA).
  1. Enjoy a micro-adventure – we are not able to venture far from our homes at the moment and even when restrictions are lifted, you may find yourself time-poor for that (long) weekend pack-carry, so start with a micro-adventure in your back yard, on a friend’s larger property or commit to one monthly short or easy bushwalk.
  1. Research your local bushwalking clubs. Once our incarceration has ended, clubs will have their walks programs out there to satisfy their members' pent up cabin fever. Clubs will always welcome guests on their walks, so give it a go. Bushwalking Victoria has 62 affiliated clubs all over Victoria. They offer walks for all ages and abilities across Victoria and often, interstate and overseas.
  1. Select all your favourite bushwalking photographs, including slides from a previous lifetime, colour prints from a previous century and digital photos from the 21st Century, and make a highlights photo book (search “photo books” online for many options).
  1. Select your favourite bushwalking video footage and make a few trip specific or region based videos using one of the many apps available. Most are easy to use.
  1. Reading is no doubt one of your homebound activities, these are good bushwalking reads:
  • “The Scroggin Eaters” is a history of Bushwalking in Victoria, published in 1991. At least one of your older bushwalking friends must have a copy.
  • Beyond the Scroggin Eaters”, published in 2009.
  • “The Alps at the Crossroads” was published in 1974 – Try finding a copy if you are interested in a history of the development of Alpine areas as well as a view of conservation (or lack thereof) from the seventies. Here is a taster
  1. Make a First Aid Kit
  1. Brush up on your First-Aid skills – you can take this Wilderness First Aid Quiz. You can always practice your skills on the kids as a diversion from homeschooling! 
  1. Familiarise yourself with good map sources for bushwalking.
  1. Watch/read some inspiring articles about our connection to nature, such as Forest bathing, The science of why you do your best thinking while walking, Your brain on nature.
  1. Learn more about bush food and plants and challenge yourself to search and incorporate some bush tucker in your meals on your next overnight bushwalk.
  1.  Here is a recipe book called 'Flavours of the Coast' (in PDF format) from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.
  1. Create a Bushwalking Recipe book for your club/group/family with your favourite campfire meals. Include the recipe ingredients, tips on how to pack them efficiently, and with zero waste. List the cooking utensils needed, the method, a story about this recipe and a photo of you eating the dish with a note on where you would have liked to be in the bush eating it!
  1. Stream the best adventure films with a free 7-day trial.
  1. Need new hiking footwear? Buy it now and wear it in before you resume bushwalking.  Here is a review of the best hiking boots in Australia for 2020 which includes a buying guide. You can visit our member discount partner, the Wilderness Shop, for expert fitting and testing how the boots feel on sloping carpet to simulate uphill and downhill walking. There are many online sales at the moment  if you have a tried and tested pair you want to replace.
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  3. Share your favourite adventure books with your community or start an online book club. Chris Towers, a member of the CAEX Bushwalking Club, shared his with us: 

    BeWILDered, (Leaving everything behind for 3,000km in the wilds of NZ (walking the Te Araroa Trail) by Melbourne author, Laura Waters.

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (also a movie starring Robert Redford and Emma Thompson)

    Wild, a journey from lost to found by Cheryl Strayed (also a movie starring Reese Witherspoon),

    New Boots in NZ, Nine Great Walks, three islands and one tramping virgin by Gillian Orrell.

  1. Learn to play the harmonica to entertain your fellow bushwalkers around the campfire, learn some new campfire games or how to bushdance.

Enjoy the opportunity to reboot, plan, fix, and improve your skills. See you in the bush when the virus has been conquered!